November 4, 2011

Flying Fingers versus Cramped Hands

National Blog Posting Month's prompt today:

When you are writing, do you
prefer to use a pen or a computer?

Thanks to my high school typing teacher, I prefer to type. Even then, I can barely keep up with the words as they flow from my brain to my fingertips. The trip through the heart slows them down a bit, thankfully.

The fast typing allows me to give into word flow. I type until it dries up. Editing is a completely different story. I print everything and edit with a red pen. Old school. I take notes all day on any random paper unfortunate enough to get in my way. Post it notes are like dust in my house, great reminders of what I need to do.

When the story is pressing, I can type for lengthy periods without considering food, water, or time. I can't imagine getting that lost in pen and paper. My hand and fingers would begin to cramp and send mixed signals back to the brain, confusing the words trying to come to life.

That being said, I won't let thoughts escape. I carry a steno pad in my purse for those moments an idea strikes. No sense losing a scene or character trait. I'll even send emails to myself from my IPhone with ideas.

I also type to-do lists. Like editing, I print them off for the joy of marking through completed items.

My only exception: a letter. Letter writing has sadly become a lost art. I make my own cards and send to friends for no particular reason. Typed letters or emails will never replace a handwritten note.

Your turn... do you prefer typing or pen to paper?


lisa said...

I am so with you on this! There is nothing like a handwritten note, but for most other writing I'm all about the computer. I can type 82 words per minute so I can definitely get more written, way faster. LOL

bookworm said...

I prefer a computer for writing. In the typewriter days, I preferred a typewriter. I type about 70 words a minute and I am so unused to writing by hand now that my hand cramps if I have to take notes at a conference by hand.

Julie Glover said...

Perhaps one of the best things about my past jobs is that I worked as a secretary through college. My typing is thus way faster than my writing. I do enjoy writing random thoughts, plot points, etc., but the major stuff gets typed out on my handy-dandy laptop. Great prompt, Tia.

Tia Bach said...

Time is so limited, typing makes so much more sense. The thought of losing words to a slow process is painful.

Thanks for stopping by and commenting!!

Elizabeth Anne Mitchell said...

Ah, I love to write by hand, but I do save that for personal letters or when I am blocked and the cursor seems to be jeering at me!

I print out things to edit, and I don't use just red, but green for things to add, blue for things to check, and red to delete.

I learned to type in graduate school, but have gotten quite fast, so my hand can't keep up.

Dorothy said...

When I have to do research, I prefer pen and paper. It helps me organize my thoughts, and keeps me from getting distracted.

But when quick wit, or just a story, is needed, I definitely prefer to type. It lets me get my thoughts out more quickly before they are lost.

Tia Bach said...

Elizabeth, I love the colored pen editing ideas. I'll be using that!

Dorothy, I agree regarding research.

Thanks for stopping by!

Laura said...

Even though my handwriting is atrocious, I use pen and paper for personal notes. Otherwise, I type. I learned to type in high school and could type about 70wpm. But I’ve slowed down a bit since having to switch from a QWERTY to a AZERTY keyboard after my move to Europe. ):

Anonymous said...

I normally type when I compose. But I also love the feel of a good pen in my hand.

Tia Bach said...

Laura, I can't imagine. Mom was sending me emails when she traveled, and I needed an interpretor. ;-)

I, too, love a pen in hand sometimes!

Thanks, ladies, for stopping by and commenting.