Somebody asked me recently if I write with a pen or pencil. My initial, non-thinking response was to laugh. Well, isn’t that just old hat, I might have added. Well, it’s true, I haven’t written a novel using anything other than a keyboard in a very long time.


For one thing, re-writes are a whole lot easier using a computer. Same goes for sending out copy to the editor, then getting it back again with thousands of changes.

But then, I stopped myself from adding that comment about old school.

For one thing, I am always jotting down ideas for characters and stories using pens and pencils and scraps or paper or notebooks. Never be without a pad and pen/pencil we’re told and they’re right about that. Inspiration comes to you at any time it fancies. No schedules or pre-booked appointments there.

Then, as I thought about things some more, I remembered that, although I don’t write novels with pen and paper these days, I do quite often write the first draft of a short story this way. But why? Why do I still reach for pen and paper?

Well, let’s set aside those occasions on which I don’t have a computer to hand. It does happen and the muse ain’t waiting, so I use what I can get my hands on. There’s always time to transfer it on to the computer later.

But I soon realised there’s more to it than that. You see, I actually like writing with pen and paper. It’s somehow a more satisfying and natural experience than tapping away at a keyboard and it also avoids the constant miskeying and consequent corrections that can often throw you off track in mid-flow.

I suspect, as well, that the brain works a little differently when you’re using pen and paper. Does this mean the words flow differently? I think it might well do.

So, it seems, after all, that friend of mine wasn’t so daft when they asked me whether or not I write with pen and paper. Doing it the old fashioned way does still have its appeal and its uses, and possibly also its advantages.


Image by No-longer-here on Pixabay.









Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>