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Pen and Paper or Computer?

We all have our own writing techniques and preferences. What works for one of us doesn’t for another. What is most important is getting those creative juices flowing, bringing the words out of our heads and ultimately into our stories.

It has to be pen and paper for me. Even writing this blog it has to be pen and paper first. I can’t think creatively on the computer, that is for tidying it all up. Besides, I like the pen and paper part of it, that’s the bit I enjoy most, then the tidying up.


I’m not a disciplined writer. I don’t set aside so many hours a day to write, it has to be when I get the burn. I’m the sort of person who likes everything done yesterday so novel writing which takes months and years is a contradiction to my nature. Healthwise there are many days when I don’t have the energy to think, much less pick up a pen. Other days I know I have a book on the go, know where I’m going with it, have notes guiding me into the next chapter but I just can’t rouse myself to pick up the pen and A4 pad – and my scribings! As you can see I could never get someone else to type them up for me, too many crossings out, words changed, sentences added or removed, plus as I type it up something might sound better and I do enjoy that part too, gathering it together. The only book I wrote straight onto the computer was the latter part of my second memoir Better or Dead and I wrote it from notes that I’d made.

So that’s my writing routine, pen and paper for the creative flow, read through and make adjustments several times until I’m happy with it, only then does it go onto the computer, and even then I make minor adjustments.

What’s your routine? I’d love to hear either in blog comments or Facebook/Twitter, whichever’s easier.




4 responses to “Pen and Paper or Computer?

  1. I will have to try pen and paper to see if it gets the creative juices going!

  2. Kim Wilson ⋅

    I can relate to so much of this. My rough drafts are so messy with brackets and little notes in margins with arrows , that it would be impossible for someone else to type it for me ( not to mention too expensive, and time consuming for them ) but I also find the act of typing it up afterwards helps refresh my memory and …I can’t explain it, but it’s very satisfying knowing my brain has gone over it all like that, especially when my brain is so foggy. It’s made me a slow learner, but like with waitressing jobs, when I take menu home and memorize it, and write notes to myself about how to do certain tasks on point of sale systems or in what order etc, the writing it and seeing it on paper helps concretize it in the front of my mind so the information is more accessable. Helpful if you have a complicated plot

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