Pen and Paper Writing:
Today I broke through my crushing months long writer's block.
Because today I did something that I have literally not done in years: I put a #2 Pencil to wide ruled lined paper and physically wrote something.*
I am one of those people with utterly ineligible writing, even to myself sometimes. For a long time I done everything I possibly can with Microsoft Word, because it's just easier and it gets me better grades. And of course from there it's only a small jump to doing my recreational writing electronically as well. It's easier to format, it's easier to post, it makes my spelling and my grammar much better. But it's left me the problem of accessibility, there have been times where I am sized by the urge to write but am in a place where I either can't get to my computer, or can't use it, then by the time I do get to it I will sit there staring at a blank Word Document trying to force myself to put out what I was thinking before.
It wasn't till today that I even realized how dependent I had become on my computer, how much material I could have down if I had been willing and able to just put Pen to Paper. I spent a full hour sitting in one place writing in a notebook and never once becoming distracted or sidetracked, and when I went and read what I had just written…for the first time to long I didn’t completely hate it.
Is this a common problem? How dependent are we really on electronics? How much of your writing is done on the computer and how much on pen and paper?
edited 12th Jan '12 2:51:37 PM by LMage
"You are never taller then when standing up for yourself"
I disdain pen-and-paper writing, because I have a bad habit of pressing too hard on the paper and it hurts my hand and wrist.
That, and I'm just a lot faster on the computer (~75 words a minute if you want anything resembling proper spelling out of me) than I am on paper...
"Shit, our candidate is a psychopath. Better replace him with Newt Gingrich."
My comics are exclusively pen(cil) and paper - one reason why I'm hesitant to try and enter the webcomics world. However, I can't remember the last time I wrote anything else off the computer. I simply find it faster.
I used to only be able to write on paper. Nowadays, I've gotten more used to writing on the computer.
I was forced to write with a pen on paper for a few years because of limited access to a computer. The moment I had a computer on my desk, I completely switched to writing in Open Office
Writer. It's just much easier to manage and edit.
When I was forced to stick to paper, I was constantly rewriting the exact same scene from one piece of paper onto an another piece of paper simply because I had to change some stuff around. There's only so much you can do by crossing a line of text and writing above it (And besides, crossing out text just looks ugly.)
Individual liberation is an illusion.
I hate paper writing, I literally can't do it. It crushes my creativity.
SPATULA, Supporters of Page Altering To Urgently Lead to Amelioration (supports not going through TRS for tweaks and minor improvements.)
I never write on paper. Typing is faster, easier, and way more convenient on just about everything. It's only drawback is limited availability, but it's usually not a problem.
Writer's Welcome Wagon
I like writing on paper with pencil. I think the whole spacial aspect of it makes it easier for me to write. Or at least, my writing seems to be better long-handed. There's also the feel of a manila folder and pencils in my pocket.
Unfortunately, due to being time-inefficent, I usually use the computer.
About 90% of my writing is pen and paper. In notebooks, on loose-leaf in binders, on napkins, Post-It notes, whatever I can get my hands on. I write in pencil, and make all of my edits and formatting/correction marks in pen. Everything that's not in a notebook is organized into binders. When I finish writing for the day or week, I type everything up, save it to the computer and external hard drive, print it out, and continue my editing on paper.
I'm more engaged when I'm physically writing, and more thoughtful. I make less mistakes, and everything flows better.
Now, notes about my stories and projects are always done on the computer.
edited 12th Jan '12 4:10:39 PM by BetsyandtheFiveAvengers
I'm finding that it's much easier to write pencil and paper style. When I'm typeing I keep doubling to spell every word write and make every gramer corection instantly, so that I keep bogging down and lossing my train of thought. With paper I am going on for large swaths of time before I go back and re-read to make corrections and what not. I worry less about getting every detail right and correct and can just write.
"You are never taller then when standing up for yourself"
I have never maintained a good writing momentum while writing with paper. My brain moves at least three times the speed of my pencil, resulting in weird mistakes where my brain jumps ahead further in the sentence I'm writing and starts mashing words together. And then I lose my train of thought and utterly forget what I wanted to write beyond that sentence I stumbled over. I just prefer not to deal with it altogether.
We've got a solve for that.
I do write better with pencil and paper but I don't think it's the medium, so much as the environment. Namely, there is no internet, 'cause I normally use pencil and paper when I'm commuting to and from school/uni/work. To its less computer versus paper, but getting away from distractions.
Another bonus is that it makes me do a rough edit when I type it up.
That said, I plot/plan on paper, because it can get messy with arrows and lines and stream of consciousness notes.
You must agree, my plan is sheer elegance in its simplicity! My Tumblr
The future of warfare in UC.
I have written in this fashion but I find its inefficiencies so frustrating that I have not done so in years. It's simply too slow a method to keep up with me at full stride.
"Christ, where's your designer? I need to kick him in the balls!"
It's a nice way to practise handwriting, but I get wrist cramps and typing is generally faster.
Only Insane Man
What QQQQQ said.
"Sometimes it is better to light a flamethrower than to curse the darkness."
- Terry Pratchett
The Eternal Fool
Revisions are far less convenient when it's not typed.
Welcome, traveller, welcome to Omsk
I write quite a lot on paper when cut off from a computer for whatever reason. What I write on paper usually seems better to me than what I type on the word processor. The only reason I can think of is that handwriting is slower than typing, so I get more time to think about where the story's going.
It does not matter who I am. What matters is, who will you become? - motto of Omsk Bird
As always, a writing technique that works for you may not work for everybody else. Flaubert (to take one example) was notorious for rewriting and polishing. He didn't even have the option of a word processor, and look how he turned out.
I prefer paper. If I'm on a computer, with dozens of other things I could be doing, there's a constant distraction. With paper, I'm writing and that's all I'm doing.
Under World. It rocks!
This is called longhand writing.
Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, and Garth Nix do it. They have a tendency to publish, and I say this in the politest manner possible, doorstoppers.
I wrote the first 50000 words of my novel's draft in longhand before typing it up. It's the only way I can function, personally. Less distractions, less convoluted sentences, and I don't need electricity to keep working.
Thunder, Perfect Mind
I cite Harlan Ellison
for the definitive reason to do a longhand draft before typing the manuscript: It forces you to revise and rethink your writing before you actually edit the text.
That said, I don't do as much longhand as I do typing, but I often find myself more satisfied with my first draft when putting pen to paper, even if the next draft (computer) discards 50% or more of the original text.
I usually write things on paper, but typing them up afterwards is kinda a pain, so if I was ever actually writing something I wanted to show to people online I'd probably end up planning it on paper but writing it on a computer or something. That said, I'm more inclined to do comics, for which I also use paper because I'm shit with a mouse and tablets cost money, and I can just use the school's scanners once I'm done with it.
In addition to that, longhand also engages and forces you to use different parts of the brain. It's a bit more active than typing.
I always write by hand originally. It works best for me, for several reasons mentioned by others: it's slower, so I'm thinking more as I'm writing and this especially helps with getting the characters' voices to come out right (perhaps the one aspect of writing I struggle with the most); there are fewer distractions; having to type up is a "free" opportunity for revision. "First drafts are for finding out what your story is about" (Bernard Malamud) — often a complete scene will end up needing to be replaced as I realise that I went in the wrong direction in the first draft, and psychologically this is much easier to do when I'm typing into a new document than if I had to do it by deleting large chunks of what's already there. But even when I'm keeping the direction of the scene, having to type up every sentence afresh means I can't be lazy, I will be thinking about each sentence as I do it and whether it can be improved.
I love both for drastically different reasons. The magic of graphite on smooth, fresh, brand new paper is like pure uninhibited adrenaline for my mind. I set off on a fantastic adventure, writing several paragraphs of new content for my role-playing campaigns, quick ideas and thoughts; I like sketching a few pictures here and there to keep the idea fresh.
On a computer, however, I hold a single strict direction, in which I must complete my set task in less time and space than what would be allowed on paper. I use that approach mostly when I have long stable thoughts I can properly process without losing focus.
Both Media are good, but you become a slave to the function of your media while you use it. Paper is free but wild and directionless, while a writing program is more defined but also confining and limited. But don't limit yourself to EITHER one, give yourself that freedom to be able to chose whichever feels right at any time!
The Best part of my autobiographical movie was the ending where I die. I got better for the sequel.
I like writing on paper to get my ideas down and then I put them onto the computer. But most of the time I write on paper, I'm always rewriting it and scribbling out stuff but I also get this big bump on my middle finger if I hold the pen too hard or write for too long. That's why I like the computer but it helps to have your stories on paper if something happens to your computer.