Gloria Steinem
Credit: Courtesy ©Patrick McMullan

If there's a woman who can say she's lived a full life, it'd be Gloria Steinem, 81, the feminist icon. But when it was recently announced that she would release her new book, My Life on the Road, this October, we did the math and realized it's been two decades since her last publication. It turns out good things really do come to those who wait though. The tome has actually been a work in progress for quite some time—and for good reason, Steinem told InStyle at the Sackler Center First Awards in New York City on Thursday.

“It’s about being on the road, but because I was on the road all the time, I didn’t have time to write it,” said Steinem, whose last full-length book, Moving Beyond Words, came out in 1994. “So every summer I would work on it, and then I would forget all about it for nine or ten months and come back to it.” Cover to cover, Steinem said the book took 20 years to write. “And I finally, finally finished it,” she said, happily.

Along the way, Steinem discovered plenty and embraced technology as it became a constant in everyday life. But that doesn’t mean that the journalist thinks it’s a replacement for more traditional methods of reaching out to others. “I’ve learned more and more—as I’ve tried to say in this book—[about] the importance of the different ways of communicating,” said Steinem. “There are things that happen in a room when we are physically together with our five senses that can’t happen on a page, can’t happen on the screen. So we have to remember that pressing ‘send’ is not activism.”

Still, the Twitter-savvy Steinem doesn’t shy away from all things tech. “It’s [used for] important information, and it has a crucial role to play,” she said. “But we need to use all the forms [of communication], not just prioritize one.”