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Ink, Bytes, and Beyond Ink, Bytes, and Beyond Alejandra Gotóo

Ink, Bytes, and Beyond: Exploring the Terrains of Writer's Fears in the Digital Era

Written by  Alejandra Gotóo Jan 29, 2024

There are fears as there are people. Some fears are widely shared, and there are others that are a little bit more obscured. It might not be the place, but I want to write about something that makes me afraid. I know this one is not that eerie, and I know, at the same time, it is highly intimate, and I have not stated it before.

Since I was a little girl, I started to create stories in my mind. When I learned how to write, I tried putting them down on paper, and it was then that this started: the blank page. Sometimes, it was just a second before I wrote something and terminated its existence. I guess when I was little, I was less conscious of what I was writing, its value, its meaning, and its audiences. I would like to say that the blank page was better then, but I do not remember much. I remember not having ideas for days, and then, all of a sudden, a flow of ideas came out of the blue and saturated me. Overflowed me. I could not breathe. This usually happened when I was already lying in bed waiting for sleep. I tried hard not to sleep and order some of these ideas. I wanted to remember something in the morning. Anything.

As a teenager, I tried keeping a diary, but I became aware of possible audiences, and I found myself censoring some of my thoughts. What if someone came across those pages? I did not want anyone to have such a clear view of myself. Perhaps I was trying not to see something. What if writing thoughts down makes them into something real?

Writing for a living is less fashionable than in the last century. More audiences, media, and writers. And then I feel diluted. On the one hand, I am first a reader and then a writer. What should I read? Which readings hold more value than others? Who is the author to suit my fancy?

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On the other hand, I feel so much pressure as a writer. What should I offer to readers? Which of the combinations of words must I create to capture attention? Who is on the other side of the page?

To be afraid of the act of writing is one thing. Yet, is to be frightened of the other side of the writing equation to be scared of people?

Moreover, our digital era emphasizes instant gratification and short-form content. In this landscape, where information flows rapidly and attention spans wane, the author finds themselves navigating a terrain vastly different from the one they traversed in their earlier writing endeavors. The fear of thecreting was once a solitary challenge. Now, it contends with the pressure of creating content that captures fleeting online attention. The immediacy of digital platforms demands concise and attention-grabbing narratives, leaving the author grappling with the question of how to translate the richness of their inner world into bytes and pixels. The fear of being diluted in a sea of online voices becomes a palpable concern, prompting contemplation on the intrinsic value of their words amidst the noise of social media and whirlwind content consumption.

Ink Bytes and Beyond Exploring the Terrains of Writers Fears in the Digital Era 1

While some might find this overwhelming, it could be an asset. Nowadays, there are more readers than before, and there is less analphabetism. I have heard that readers nowadays do not read essential pieces, which might or might not be accurate. Be that as it may, people read all the time. Unlike before, we read more letters (Facebook posts), telegrams (Whatsapp messages), and periodicals (articles). Perhaps fewer books, nevertheless definitely more written content. I might just be trying to have a magical religious thought here. Still, I refuse to think that having more written material is intrinsically negative. It is different. Yet, different is not always worse. And right now, we might connect with readers in a way impossible before.

Amidst the shadows of fear, there exist moments of triumph and resilience that deserve acknowledgment. Despite its intimidating vastness, confronting the blank page becomes a journey of self-discovery and creative evolution. Transforming intangible thoughts into tangible words is, in essence, a victory—it shows the courage required to share.

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Alejandra Gotóo (Mexico City, 1991) writes to explain herself the world where she inhabits. Her work has been published in Spain, Mexico, Chile, Colombia, Peru, and Croatia. She holds a master's degree in Social Anthropology and a bachelor's degree in English Literature. Nowadays, she is a columnist in Dubrovnik Times. She has two published novels, Ruptura and Isadore or Absolute Love. Her topics of interest include nature, adventure, language, books, food, culture, animals, conservation, and women's rights. She also writes in her blog: Cardinal Humours.

The Voice of Dubrovnik

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