So far my experience of what it means to be literate has been one of contrasts, from monastery to high-tech research centre, quill pen and bound books to email and the digital future. But throughout my journey I have found it important to hold past, present and future in a creative tension, neither to be too nostalgic about the way things were nor too hyped-up about the digital as the answer to everything – salvation by technology.
I see everything that is happening now – the web, mobile computing, email, new digital media – as in continuity with the past. Of two things we can be certain: not every previous writing technology will disappear in years to come, and new technologies will continue to appear. Every generation has to rethink what it means to be literate in their own times.
Writing is writing no matter what format or medium it’s on. But it can’t be boring, in either prose nor design. A mastery of writing requires that the artist practice it every day.