Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Advantage of Paper

Wow, what a day in Southern California! I sat on the beach today, where temps were around 80 degrees (25 C), and worked on my latest novel with a pen and a pad of paper.

Normal temps this time of year are around 67 degrees (19 C), but this whole week has been near record highs.  It was so nice, I even managed to go swimming today, twice.  Which brings me back to the theme of this post.  Never in a million years would I take my laptop with me to the beach.  The sand and the salt and the water would destroy it in no time.  But going back to the old-fashioned method, with a pen and notebook, I can work anywhere! 

Aside from these considerations, there is something spiritually appealing about writing with pen and paper.  It just feels more natural, for some reason.  I'm not sure exactly why, but I feel like I can slow myself down and take my time a little bit more.  There's also the feeling of the paper in my hands that I like.  I know this is ironic, since I'll end up typing it into my computer and then offering it for sale as an ebook, but that brings up a whole other conversation.  Ebook versus paper, modern versus traditional.  I won't go there now...

What I will mention is another of the benefits of writing on paper.  I can't check my e-mail, or the news or Facebook, or any of the other time wasters on the Internet that are just an Alt-Tab away on my laptop.  At the beach where I worked today, I don't even get phone service!  That's a plus, too. :-)

Of course, this doesn't mean I'll give up my laptop completely (though sometimes it sounds like a nice idea).  The truth is, I'm so used to constantly editing myself as I go that writing on the computer is far more efficient.  But still, there are days like today where nothing is better than to take a chair to the beach, pull out a pen and paper, and get to work! 

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