Keyboard v. Paper

Lately, I’ve been in the mood to write. But, not necessarily on my computer or my phone.

I can remember what it was like to write to the very first draft of Torque (then called Fangs: Taste of Blood) and how easier it was to finish it on paper. (As easy as writing a novel would get.)

When I tried to rewrite the second draft, I went for paper. Well, pen and paper as JK Rowling would say. But then it was hard. So at that time,  I turned to my shabby laptop I got from my brother.

It was easier at that point to write on the laptop. I didn’t get that far into rewriting Torque – maybe 30 pages at that time. Then something happened to the computer where it shut off  and it wouldn’t turn back on.

I was sad and really upset. All that work down the drain and I was actually liked that version better than my written draft, but each way of writing has its own pros and cons.

KEYBOARD

Pros: 

– Easy sailing: 

When you grow up learning how to type and use computers every day, you learn a few tricks here and there. And you type faster than your parents or writers who don’t embrace the keyboard as much.

If you misspell a word, autocorrect from your phone or the red squiggles will let you know that you’ve made an error.

– Research:

Using the computer and Internet has made it easy to get the job done when it comes to research. If you stay focused enough, meeting your writing goal can be done with ease.

Cons:

– Distractions: 

The Internet is a wonderful thing. A tool that many writers use to help develop ideas, find connections, research and more. And that’s the thing.

Some writers may find themselves on the computer lost in “research.”

Admit it, as writers, we’ve all done this. You go to write, but go to research first and that research turns to your favorite social media platform.

When it comes to writing on the phone, you get texts and notifications from the millions of apps on your phone.

 – Screen time exposure:

For work, I’m on a computer (or phone to take a quick break) for 7.5 hours. So, writing on the computer before or after work can become daunting for me. It’s too much screen time.

It’s the same for people who have to use a computer or tablet for work and many of us who constantly check our email on the phone.

Too much screen time can strain your eyes as well and if you’re not in a properly lit room – it makes it worse. So, don’t forget to turn on the light when writing into the evening when you’ve used natural light as a light source.

– Technology:

Why this is a con, you may ask? Well, as reliable as some tech pieces are today, they crash or reset. When that happens you can loose everything. All of your hard work gone.

Remember to back up anything that’s written. Whether it be with Google Drive and Google Docs, another cloud system or an external hard drive.

For Mac users, if you haven’t started to use your Time Machine, maybe you should consider using it. Though I don’t have it,  I will eventually activate it. (I am recent grad, so getting an external hard drive is not high on the list.)

PAPER:

Pros: 

– Less distractions: 

This one is pretty self explanatory. Just make sure you’re settled into your favorite spot, you have you drink of choice and your phone is set on DND.

– Easy proofing: 

The mistakes made while typing can be found easier once it’s printed. After writing all day, the eyes tends to skip over repeated words or tend to skim in general. This is something that I know that I do when I am typing and editing.

For neatly handwritten things, put the story or outline away for a bit (give it two weeks, and if time is not your friend, give to someone who can proof well) and come back to it. Your eyes will catch the skipped words or sentence structures that really do not make any sense.

– In light loads, it’s not as heavy: 

When traveling with a specific notebooks, whether it’s the story or a separate writing notebook, can be easier than putting your laptop in a bag. You don’t have to take it out of the bag at airports, so that’s a plus.

If you decide to travel with multiple notebooks, make sure you take the ones you need. There’s no need to travel with three five subject Five Star notebooks to a destination, unless you’re moving.

Cons:

– Damage: 

There could be no coming back from a tea, coffee or water stains (this goes for computers too). Because paper clearly doesn’t have a save button, material can be destroyed if not properly stored.

It would be best to invest in a scanner or a scanner app on the phone. Even your phone camera with cloud storage can get it done. Though it’s a lot of extra work to syphon through all of your papers, but it creates a back up of your paper documents. (I would use this technique if I missed notes from a class and my friend had them.) Just make sure to not accidentally delete them, not all smart phones have a photo recovery, unless they do.

– Clutter: 

Pulling out papers to reference  when writing a certain scene, or when you’re trying to remember a character description. Next thing you know you whole area is cover is paper, and you can’t realize where a paper was place. Then you’re looking for that paper for minutes or hours and it was in front of you the entire time.

Find the best way to organize writing materials even when you’re not writing. One day, you’ll have all this paper that’s probably not needed. Be sure to do an annual cleaning before it gets out of control.

– HAND CRAMPS:

I think that says it all.

I know there are more pros and cons that I have left out, so feel free to leave them below or which method you prefer.

Until next week (with a video!),

xo Arisa

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