Most writers I know give me the open-mouth stare when I say I handwrite. Laptops, netbooks and all the other portable devices around today, have replaced pen and paper for us and they come with a convenience and a range of helpful tools that assist us. So why do I still carry a chunky little spiral-bound notebook and a ball-point? Flexibility.
I never run out of battery. I can always see my writing surface. Except for puddles and spilt coffee I can’t break it. And no one is ever going to mug me for my pen.
True it means double handling because I write the words and then have to type them in, but I use this quite deliberately as a drafting stage so as I type words in I do a tidy and pretty up the ugly bits. I also find this as a very good way to get into the flow.
Paper also makes me fuss a bit less over individual words, because I hate lots of messy cross-outs!
I have recently been taking my netbook on my commute to and from work, so I can make the most of the time by being able to edit as well as write new words, and so far it’s been very successful. Will this be the end of the age of paper for me? No. There’s still just too much added flexibility in carrying a notepad.