I’ve been chatting with writing friend about why it is often easier to sit with pen and paper, than at a computer. Planning gels (so I’m told!), short stories flow and even the occasional Blurt occurs on paper.
My theory is that paper is more welcoming. It’s a natural product and humans have been making marks on natural materials for a very long time. Typing is quite unnatural and the glow of a screen is hard on the eyes.
The discussion that prompted this post, though, was an exchange of a few different ideas to the above. We discussed the idea that computers have a lot of mental baggage because we do the hard slog of revision on a computer and many of us also do our non-writing day-job on computers.
Another thought was that there is less area of blank paper, though that depends a lot on what type of paper you write on and what type of screen you have attached to your computer.
I know that when I first started writing on a computer – well, with a modern word processor anyway – I found I couldn’t stop myself editing endlessly. So, for me, I think that’s always been the draw of paper for a first draft. It’s going to be rough and pretty much as it came into the world, and that’s a lot less pressure.