There was a time when every notebook I used to buy I filled it up with words. Nothing but words. There were stories, information about sports I was interested in (at the time) and a whole lot of other idiotic stuff. Whole pages and pages were drowned in words, and I used to love my notebooks.
A year or two later however, we got a new computer. I improved my typing skills (and learned touch typing). I also learned to use programs like Microsoft Word for writing. Henceforth I was using this almost exclusively for my writing. My notebooks, which were once so full that there wasn’t even space to copy down a phone number, now were empty. What happened?
The thing that happened was that I had changed my writing medium from pen and paper to the computer.
But of them is better for your writing? Which is better – pen and paper or the computer keyboard?
Pen and paper
Of course, once upon a time this was the only option for anyone wanting to write (the computer is new, after all). But now it has its rival, a competitive rival. Has it lost its respect?
Not at all. A lot of people still write using pen and paper. They say it’s faster, and that could be for you if you don’t know how to type fast. And writing with the hand is easier as well. If you don’t know how to type properly, the fingers will first find it painful, whereas writing using the pen is conventional and doesn’t add stress. This is a point to keep in mind.
One good rule of thumb is to write shorter pieces (short stories, poems, essays etc) using pen and paper and longer pieces (novels, autobiographies, courses) on the computer.
Fact: Many poets still write on paper. The older generation still writes on paper. Paper is not a thing to be ridiculed as a medium of writing. Do your fingers get tired by typing too much? Try pen and paper instead.
The computer was preceded by the typewriter, I know. But as so few people use typewriters these days I have to chosen to compare pen and paper with computer. Let’s see its benefits and disadvantages.
It certainly has some benefits:
- It’s faster for those who are comfortable typing (e.g. when writing a novel)
- The finished work looks more professional due to formatting (when you use pen and paper you have to make sure that your handwriting is excellent and legible)
- It becomes possible to share documents on the internet and collaborate
- It becomes possible to publish it (on the Internet).
But as usual, a thing which has advantages will also have disadvantages. In this case, they are:
- Long hours of typing is bad for our body’s health: the fingers as well as the eyes get tired
- For those who can’t type comfortably writing on the computer is like swimming in an ocean
- The document loses the “personal touch.” For example when you have to prepare a project for your school then printing it out of the computer is not good because it loses your credibility (one can wonder, did he really write this?) Using pen and paper on the other hand, one doesn’t face this problem.
So as you can see there are some strong points both for and against the computer and pen and paper. Which should you use? There’s no right answer to this question. Someone may feel comfortable typing for hours and someone may shudder at the thought of it. Someone will be happy with using pen and paper and someone will be discontent. Someone likes this and someone likes that.
But you have to make your own decision for yourself. Which do you feel comfortable using? Which is better for your situation? Which is appropriate for your writing? Answer these questions and you will discover which writing medium you should use.
A side note: Which do I use? Both. For longer pieces, the computer. For academic writing and shorter pieces, the good old pen and paper. These days I might use computer more, but I like both equally. Just my opinion.
Over to you
I really wish I could setup a poll so you could vote, but it doesn’t matter; just tell what you use in the comments. Do you like the computer more? Why? Is it because of increased efficiency or is it just because of necessity? Which is more comfortable according to you? When you use one over the other, what reasons are there behind that? And the biggest: which do you use more?
And I’ll be seeing you in the comments…
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