Typing and Writing

I write differently with pen and paper than I do with a computer. Maybe because I write more slowly than I type, or maybe because the visual feedback is different, or the tactile experience. Whatever the reason, there’s a clear difference in my output.

Even more pronounced than this, though, is the difference between how I edit using a pen, compared to how I edit on the computer. It’s almost as if a different part of my brain engages.

Lately I’m trying to get a handle on how to take advantage of these variances for different effects. Recently I work with pen and paper more and more. I still love Scrivener, and consider it my most important tool, but I’m shifting my stories in and out of Scrivener. To my mind it’s similar to an artist stepping back from a painting to get a look at it from too far away to actually work on it. When I’ve come to some kind of better understanding about the what’s different about my writing or editing processes when I write by hand rather than when I type on a computer, I’ll post about it again.

I’ve seen other writers who say they always do first drafts by hand and then type them in, or they always re-type every new draft from a new, scratch document (rather than editing into an existing document). I’m going to go back and forth for a while and think about hos the process is affecting what I’m doing.

The Techie and the Fountain Pen

I love my computers, and my fancy “cloud computing” magic. I love Scrivener, especially. Love my iPad too.

But I’m trying something different. First drafts created with a fountain pen, longhand, on good paper. This is how I used to always do it, up until a year or so ago. It’s just so fast and convenient to draft right in Scrivener. But maybe fast and convenient aren’t best, at least not right now.

Scribbled handwriting, and ink on my fingertips. The words feel different this way.