I would have said pen this time last year but things have changed. Let’s not be too divisive, I’m not getting rid of my pens, in fact, I rely on them more than ever. I have a pen and paper at all times! Next to my bed, on the train, in the bath, in every pocket…there is no telling when that inspirational moment comes and you need to quickly jot something down (or remind yourself to buy milk). So before I upset anyone, I have always and will always use a pen!
It is all about time. It has amazed me how much time I have saved by using a laptop. So this is very much a practical blog topic. Ever since I can remember I have made notes in either A4 or A5 pads. It could be the start of a story, a simple one-line idea or a spider diagram…but regardless piles of papers and pads would build up. Then when it came to writing them up, which for the first time I decided to do two years ago, I found that the sheer amount of time it took to type up those notes was incredible (taking into account deciphering my terrible handwriting) and I would often go through it two or three times to rejig where I wanted certain paragraphs to go...once that is I finally found the energy to get off my scared lazy backside and face the dreaded lines that I had constantly been putting off…
Now when I finally bought a laptop and started writing directly onto it, the difference has fully convinced me of its worth. I felt very free to type away in unrestricted thought and I didn’t miss the pen at all. I find it quicker to save, delete, check spelling, go online to reference things (but wait…the temptation of Wi-Fi as an interruption is one thing that is a devil to get over…I highly recommend finding a library/coffee shop/etc. that doesn’t have Wi-Fi or go to a park!) and then chop and change sentences, paragraphs and the structure of the piece as it evolves. It doesn’t feel like re-writing at all. I have saved a lot of time over the last six months or so writing straight onto the laptop and for me, it works.
I do realize there is something noble or traditional about the notebook, Roald Dahl and his Dixon Ticonderoga pencils comes to mind and as I said I often do write a bit here and there, but if I intend to sit down for a writing session then I now use a laptop. I feel more organized, professional and somehow in control of my output. I can monitor how much I have done compared to my targets and it makes me feel like I am taking it seriously.
Anyway, I like it! Wonder how it works for other people.
Didn’t need the hour for this one.
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