The Best Time to be a Writer, Part 237

I know I have gone on more than once about how great a time this is to be a writer already, but my peculiar podcast listening habits unexpectedly drove that reality home for me this morning. Today's shiny new British History Podcast episode was mostly about Mercian King Offa and events swirling around him, but there was an interesting aside around the 18 minute mark about books in those days. Spoiler: books were extraordinarily difficult to create back then.

Those were hard times to be a writer. If you wanted to share your work with the world, you had to learn how to write in the first place, get enough parchment and ink and quills to go into the physical books to hold your words, find a book binder to put all that parchment and ink together, and then convince monks to copy your words over by hand. I know that was a long time ago, but Offa's times (700s C.E.) are closer to today than Offa's time was to the invention of written language.

Times have changed, but that is exactly my point. The printing press was a big deal, and that made sharing your writing with the world far easier than ever before--but now electronic publishing and blogging and a slew of digital distribution technologies have made sharing your writing easier yet, easier than ever before.

This is the best time in the history of written language to be a writer.