Writing began when someone etched something onto a rock. The words were no doubt simple and few; grammar non-existent. From this rocky beginning writing evolved onto mammoth skin, goat skin, cow skin, squirrel skin, and for Neanderthal cannibals, human skin. Rocks quickly dropped out of favor until Moses had a public reading of his benefactors writings on a couple of smooth rocks known as tablets. This use of rocks was, however, an aberration.
The above Neanderthal skulls are believed to be those of the first know writers. The skulls were found in what is assumed to be a writers retreat in what is now the Montmartre district of Paris.
Jumping ahead to the time of Shakespeare, the quill was taken to parchment, writings having gone from simple words used to describe something, like big green animal, fire, wheel, and food, to words being strung together in creative means to induce thought and emotion, using wit and imagination. It took a few million years, but Shakespeare, all have agreed, was worth the wait.
The next evolution was paper and pencil and paper and pen, also known as long handed pain in the ass. Paper manufactures loved writers, because writers kept rewriting and buying reams and reams of paper.
The invention of the typewriter in the 1860’s almost did not get off the ground, because there was no typing paper, so someone had to invent the correct paper. Once again paper manufacturers rejoiced and did everything they could to prevent the invention of white-out.
In the e-world paper is longer needed. A writer can type in Word Doc. and upload an e-book to Amazon, Book Baby, and all those other e-publishers. With the quill long dead like the bird it came from, and pens and pencils no longer at the writers desk, paper too has gone the way of the Dodo.
The next evolution-and this is happening as I speak-with speak being the key word-is that the keyboard will be as extinct as paper is now. Instead writing will be voice activated. A writer will speak his sentences into the computer, the sentences being created in Word Doc. by the computer. No more cussing out loud at the infernal keyboard that types letters not tapped. No more slapping the stupid keyboard that keeps getting mixed up.
Imagine saying, “Now is the summer of our disconnect,” then, “Delete summer, replace with winter.” Oh, the ease of it all.
The word ‘writer’ will have to be changed because no writing is actually done. Instead the word ‘writer’ will change to ‘storyteller.’ The stories may even bypass Word Doc. altogether, going straight to the buyer’s (formerly reader’s) voice mail where he or she listens to the ‘book’. Before writing, back in prehistoric days, there were storytellers because their was no pen or pencil, nor paper. In the future we will have come full circle, back to narrating our stories without rocks, goat skins, parchment, paper, pens and pencils, typewriters and keyboards. Boy we wasted a lot of paper.