Wednesday 2 September 2015

Pen and Paper vs. Computers

A question that writers seemed to get asked on a regular basis, is the one of computer or pen and paper - technology or traditional? Opinions and preferences can vary massively from writer to writer; something that can be ever more noticeable in our technology obsessed society.

2 weeks ago, I travelled down to where my grandparents live in Wales. I could not bring my laptop, as I share it with the rest of my family, and my parents would need it while I was away. Obviously, I couldn’t use it when it was over 200 miles away, so I instead brought one of my old and battered notepads with me.

Now, since starting this blog and beginning to write my first proper novel, I have become a way more active user of Microsoft Word, and my computer in general, than I had been previously. I write out each blog post on Word before I publish it, so that I can read through it with any possible mistakes being easier to spot. I had previously written everything in a notebook. So much so that I still have half filled notebooks all over my room. (Am I the only one who very rarely finishes a notepad?) I have some smaller notepads left over from when I was little, all containing short stories that I thought were brilliant at the time. I grew up writing with pencil, and then pen, all the while enjoying the stories that I was creating. I think that my very first “book” is hiding in my room somewhere…

Having re-discovered the wonders of writing with pen and paper, I seemed to have reminded myself why I love writing in the first place. It took me back to the roots of writing.

I have said many times before why I love writing. It’s my escape into the minds of others and from the world around me. I can be creative in a way that makes me incredibly happy. And, as you are probably already aware, I love the way sentences can be constructed and the simple aesthetic of words. To me the last fact in particular is shown a lot more when writing in a more traditional manner.

The fact is that I have realised just how much I love pen and paper – physically writing things. Over the past few weeks, having been forced not to use a computer, I have noticed its benefits as well.

When I write on paper I seem to be more productive. So much so that I have reached my summer word count goal for the novel I mentioned earlier (something I was nowhere near doing before I left). Don’t ask me why, it just happens. Maybe it’s the fact that I can carry a notepad anywhere and can therefore write in any spare time I get. Ideas can flow more easily for some reason. But then again, it may just have been the initial change of material that caused this.

But regardless, I need to switch up the way I write a bit more often - to get my creativity flowing more and to be more productive. A bit of change can often be quite good.


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Jemima x

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