Pen or keyboard?

One of the most amusing debates among writers centers on how they write. You’ve got pen (pencil) and paper people, computer people, and even typewriter people. There are even “I write on my phone” people out there. And many are convinced they’ve found “the” way to do it!

The truth is, I don’t understand people who choose to write on their phones (like, by choice…). It’s something I could do if I absolutely had to, but as long as something else is available, it’s not what I’m doing. That said, I won’t judge people who write on their phone. It’s their choice.

I operate on the theory that we should use what works best for us and what we’re writing. Sometimes, that means using different tools for different jobs.

Right now I’m writing this post on my computer (in Microsoft Word). Novel material gets written longhand in a notebook. Both processes are matched to the speed of my writing and thinking abilities. Often when I write novel material, my brain gets going faster than my hands on a keyboard can match, but I can write long hand at that speed (albeit with really crappy handwriting). When I write posts, the material on paper either gets over thought and over edited or doesn’t make it to the blog. It seems like working on the keyboard puts me in the right state of mind for blog posts.

Non-fiction (non-blog) stuff is split. Some things, like my current non-fiction book, happen on the computer (in Scrivener). I’m doing a lot of quoting in the book and moving things around. The computer helps with that. Other projects, like my how-to stuff, have to be written longhand. I need to do the stuff to write about it successfully. And, I’m not getting a torch or metal shears anywhere near my precious office computer (I’m less defensive about the shop laptop, but for this stuff, it would still get in the way…).

The point is, I don’t think any writing tool is actually wrong for what we do, as long as it suits our needs and purpose. The tool that works best for you and your project is the right writing tool, no matter what someone else thinks.

Do some experimenting. Do some thinking about your situation. Choose the tool that works best for you. And never feel the need to justify why you’re using it beyond “it’s what works best for me.”

That’s it for this one, dear reader. Keep writing. Keep doing. And, I’ll see you next post.

Published by Farangian

I'm a writer (fiction and non fiction) with a Masters in Psychology. I am also a sculptor, metal smith, lapidary, tutor/trainer, and eternal student. The name Farangian comes from the name of a fantasy world I created called Farangia. That name comes from Farang with is a term that the Thai use for westerners.

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