Writing on a computer, or the old-fashioned way, with pen and paper? This question appears to roll onto this page like a fossil, a battered dinosaur that should have been stone-dead for ages. Yet, since a year or two, I’ve started to use notebooks again. I feel that this has had a good influence, on the quality of my writing as well as my productivity.
This is why:
– My job obliges me to work on a computer all day. As a result, nowadays I type at about, well, warp speed. This allows me to impulsively blurt out everything that pops into my head. Writing with pen and paper slows down my writing process. Writing down a sentence just takes more time, and sometimes this very short extra time allows me to spontaneously come up with a better formulation or a better idea.
– After I have written something in a notebook, I have to copy it onto my computer. But of course I don’t slavishly type everything over. So lo and behold, there’s a second version, already.
– I can write everywhere, on a terrace, on the train, the beach, while waiting… without having to worry about my laptop being stolen, the battery running low or sand blowing in. In case of a notebook, coffee stains only add to the charm.
– Notebooks do not have a chatbox, a game application or newsfeed. They don’t have Facebook, e-mail or any other distraction, maybe except for a little doodling. It’s only my notebook, my biro and me. If I need to look up some information, I just put a mark in my text and fill in the missing info when I copy it into my computer later.
For some reason I feel that writing on paper adds to my creativity. But of course, that something works for me, does not mean it will work for everybody. Yet, I would still recommend everybody who wants to write, to give that notebook a try. Especially when your writing is not coming along very well.