Writing The Virtual Book forced me to ask: when is writing the best medium?

Something wonderful about writing is its economy. The only equipment you need is brain, paper, and pen. To document a journey through the Alaskan wilderness, for example, you don’t need to bring cameras, microphones, or personnel. The trip continues without the slowing of setup and teardown. You move as you would if there wasn’t a writer tagging along.

What’s more, there is no extra gear or logistics to obstruct encounters with the landscape and your fellow humans. The writer and all others are freed into the experience.

The experience is different for the audience, too. Writing sacrifices the sensorial experience for one deeper into the realm of imagination. The action is staged entirely in the mind. The reduction of reality into abstract symbols is both a restriction and a release. A loosed connection to time and space means the reading experience is less grounded in reality, but also less confined to it.