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I grew up in world without backspaces and spellcheck. 

We quickly forget what life was like without access to computers or devices. Human nature is funny that way. It’s almost as if this is how we’ve always lived. 

The thought occurred to me when I was trying to explain to my daughter how we would write essays in school. We were taught to organize our thoughts before we sat down to write an essay. In fact, before we wrote anything. We had to learn how to spell and make sure we could write coherent paragraphs that fit into the essay as a whole. We had to edit before writing. We simply didn’t have choice.

Sure, we could scratch out a word or two, if we made an error. But, scratching out whole paragraphs just wasn’t allowed. It would reflect poorly on our work. So, the whole concept of let’s just write whatever comes to our head and edit later, was unthinkable. 

I realize that I still function this way, much of the time. I still have a little notebook, or even a word document where I tend to organize my thoughts before I begin to write something. In fact, one day my manager caught me drafting out a whole letter on paper. I needed to make sure my letter flowed well and the only way I could do that was with pen and paper. I don’t know what it is but, my brain still seems to function better when I’m writing longform. 

It makes me wonder whether we even realize how lucky we are these days.