How Do You Write?
Paper vs. Computer
I’m always looking for ways to improve my writing. Certain tools and habits help me get into the writing groove, while others can be distracting. One choice that can affect our writing is whether to use paper or a computer. Like an artist knowing which brush to use to get a desired effect, knowing when to use paper or a computer helps me get inspired and get to work. Here’s a look into how I get down to the business of writing.
Looking for Inspiration? Reach for the Writing Pad
There is something magical about putting pen to paper that helps with generating ideas. Maybe it’s the fact that writing in a notebook feels more personal and private. Perhaps the magic comes from the lack of rigidity in formatting. You can choose to write in the lines, over the lines, around the lines, and doodle all along the edges.
With that in mind, I use a writing pad for when I want to be creative without limitations. For instance, when I start to create a plot I usually start by drawing it out on paper. It’s okay if I start out by using bullet points to list events, move on to a quick character sketch, and end up scratching out half of the ideas. The freedom to be messy makes the process of getting my ideas down much less intimidating than if I were working on a blank document in a word processor. Soon, I have enough of a grasp on the direction I want to take. Next, I get writing.
Ready for the Long Haul? Bring on the Computer
When I sit down at the computer, I know it’s time to focus. My ideas are explored enough that I feel like I have a strong direction to follow. This is important because if I don’t have a purpose, I find myself staring at a blank screen. Gone is the confidence to make mistakes that I had when working with a pen and paper. But, if I’ve prepared well, the ease of typing and the ability to fix mistakes fast helps my mind stay on the unfolding story. And when I get stuck, as many of us do, I can pick up my notebook and get back to the messier side of writing.
I’ve found that by breaking up which tool I use for two distinct parts of writing I have a deeper focus on my task. Having my notebook for brainstorming and quick writes and my computer for story writing has improved how I approach writing.
What works for you?
How do you write? Do you use both paper and a computer? I would love to hear your thoughts, and what you have found that helps you get writing!
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