I have been thinking about words. Specifically about how much freedom we have to use words and change words and add or delete words on the computer. How the use of a computer (or similar device) and a word processing program makes words feel infinite to me. I can write and edit and delete and add and start over as often as I feel the need. The words can be endless.
I have also been thinking about what came before. A typewriter and a sheet of paper. Did the words have to be more carefully thought about before being typed in ink? Were simple mistakes or revisions more costly? Did this lead to less freedom? Or perhaps did this result in more thought before putting something on paper? Did words have a different value?
And before typewriters what about pen and paper? Everything written by hand. Letter by letter. What about letter press, where there were limitations based on the size of the press, every individual letter painstakingly laid by hand? Each page hand rolled through the press one-by-one. What kind of thought was given to each word and character before it was type set?
Then, what if today, when words feel so free and infinite to me, that freedom was suddenly gone? What if every word typed, every moment spent looking at a screen, had a different kind of cost? Would I be as free and loose with the words? Would it change my writing?
If I were my own best friend I would remind myself to think about the importance of words and how they can shape a world. Think about which words to use and which to leave out. Imagine being in a world where words are not infinite but instead there is a finite space and significant cost to each word used.
Can messages or thoughts become muddled when word are unlimited? What would I choose to say with limited words? What would you choose to say?