Getting it down on paper

It’s a simple question, but reading the Nanowrimo forums got me thinking: what way of writing is best for me?

Handwriting Pros.

I definitely feel more creative when I hand-write, and I feel like I can go “on a roll” for a lot longer before something throws me out of what I’m writing.

Much more portable. I love writing outside in the park when it’s sunny or inside at a coffee shop. Again I feel like I get more done, probably because there are less distractions. Feeling like I need to “earn” my coffee, cake or whatever, helps too.

I can scrawl notes in the margins, asterisk in extra notes and draw arrows all over the page.


Handwriting Cons.

I have really crap writing once I really get going. Sometimes I can’t read it.

It’s all going to need typed up anyway.


Typing on a Laptop Pros.

There’s some really great software available to make writing as painless as possible – Scrivener, Storyist etc.

Built in spell checkers, word counters etc.

I can make reference boards for story points on Pinterest and cast actors as my characters to see them all together.

Reference material for obscure things I hadn’t considered can be found quickly.


Typing on a Laptop Cons.

I tend to obsess over ever word choice, making the process a lot slower.

Less portable, I’m not keen on toting my laptop around with me and there’s screen glare in sunlight.

The internet is distracting. Very distracting.


Other ideas.

iphone – The notes feature can be used to type and then email it to myself. Good on the go or for brief notes and ideas but unlikely to use for more than a few paragraphs.

Dictation – Lots of apps are available on my phone to do voice recording. This could then be listened to and typed up, or ran through recognition software like Dragon Naturally Speaking. However, recognition is pretty spotty and needs serious amounts of editing. Again, okay for short bursts.

Typewriter – I’d need to borrow one, but I’d feel so writerly! After the first few errors, I’d get frustrated. Probably has the flaws of both typing and handwriting.


I’ll probably hand-write a chapter or so at a time, the type it up. I’m planning to use Scrivener for typing, and I can do a little editing as I go. I’ll be backing up to Dropbox so I don’t loose everything if I lose a scrap of paper or my laptop crashes.


7 thoughts on “Getting it down on paper

  1. Sadly, I have wrist problems, so I can’t handwritten. I have written on a typewriter, once upon a time… and I felt like such an author!

    I use my laptop, but I also have a desktop, a large laptop, and a small netbook. So. I am prepared for all situations.


    1. There’s definitely a magic feeling to using a typewriter but I think you need a certain mindset to use it efficiently. One I don’t have.
      Do you any difference between typing on a laptop vs a desktop?


      1. Well, the thing about desktop vs. laptop is that my desktop is down in the common area. When I can be at my desktop alone, I love writing on it. I have two screens, and enough space to really make things feel official. My laptop provides me with solitude, because I can go to my quiet space.

        I think you’ve actually inspired me to write a blog post about laptop vs desktop. ❤ I'll tag you when I do it!


        1. When I lived with my parents, using the desktop was a constant game of minimizing Word docs and weird Google searches. Finding somewhere private can make a huge difference I think.
          I love to read your post when you post it. 🙂


  2. I love this because I debate about the same choices ALL the time. I prefer to handwrite, and my friend prefers laptop. I have tried the mobile phone solution and it drives me insane.

    Lately I have just been carrying a small notepad in my car or purse and when I get a wave of inspiration, I write pages upon pages. I did this at work for a while. Then when I get home I type it up.

    I still prefer pen and paper, makes me feel more accomplished but I find that when I transfer to computer, I really didn’t write as much as I thought I did lol


    1. I’ve noticed that typing it out makes it look a lot less too. Pages and pages in a small notepad ends up as less than a page or two on screen. If it gets me down, flicking back through the handwritten pages makes me feel more accomplished.

      Liked by 1 person

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