I love my laptop – I’m writing this blog post on it. I can certainly type fast, so for the most part it makes sense for me to write straight into it. But, there’s something to be said about writing on something other than a digital device. And by that, I mean in a notebook or something similar.
Writing by hand, whilst more long-winded than writing on a computer gives you a physical, grounded link to what you’re writing. From your brain via your hand to the page without anything in between.
Then, there’s the fact you can’t easily erase what you’ve done (erasers notwithstanding). It takes more effort, so you just cross it out. But it will still remain and that’s a good thing. It could possibly be better than what you replaced it with.
And there’s the portability. Ok, I know some people do lug their laptops around, but a notebook and pen, are generally much easier to tote about, less costly to lose, and don’t need charging. You can write stuff on a phone but my God is it fiddly. I’d much rather have a pen and paper. It can be with me whenever I’m inspired, wherever I am.
Another handy side-effect of using a notebook is getting the chance to do a first sort-of edit when you type up your draft from the notebook (or something similar). You start to smooth out the lumps and bumps, without truly being in edit mode.
Lastly, writing in a notebook (coffee shop and scarf optional) helps you feel more like a writer. And I don’t care what anybody says, doing something, however simple, that makes you feel confident in your writing is important. Consciously or subconsciously, it helps to convince you that yes, you can do this, you can write. And sometimes, that’s just what we need.