Here’s the thing: I love computers. Anyone who knows anything about me knows I am addicted to the internet, particularly twitter.
But here’s another thing: I hate computers. I hate the way everything is condensed together and the way you have to scroll and click to find things.
I love writing
I really do. Writing stories just makes me so happy. My preferred method of writing is with a pen and paper.
Here’s the problem: I have recently hit 16,000 words on my current WIP. Now, the thought of writing all those words by hand makes me shudder. But now I try to go through it to find the gaps where stuff is needed (because I don’t write in order), and there is 32 Microsoft word pages.
The temptation to print these pages is overwhelming.
Because I need things to be spread out in front of me
Ideally, with this story, I would print off the pages, spread them out on the floor, and go to town with a red pen.
Well, the pen would probably be pink, but that’s besides the point.
The point is, I need all the information present in front of me. I need to be able to physically sort through the information with my hands, otherwise I struggle massively.
Unfortunately, This is not how the powers that be see things
Moving away from the topic of writing, we are now in the topic of school. I mentioned briefly in this post a few weeks ago that I tutor students. Specifically, I tutor in maths.
I have six students. Out of those six, 2 have compulsory ipads, because their maths textbook is now an ipad document, instead of an actual book.
Now, I can see their reasoning here. When I was at school, there were some days when my bag would way almost 10kg (which is about 22lbs for those who don’t use kg) because of the weight of the textbooks.
The problem is that I struggle greatly with having an electronic textbook. I need the real thing. And I think substituting computers for textbooks could end up being a detriment to people in the long run.
And this problem extends to blogging
Blogging is almost 100% on the computer. I am great at scheduling posts. In fact, I actually wrote this post in February.
The problem here is that I struggle to keep up with myself in this regard. I have posts scheduled for week in advance, but the only way I can keep track of them all is on the computer.
Which I find difficult. Because I like to see things spread out around me.
You see my problem?
Question time! Do you have this problem? Are you torn between your love of the internet and your hatred of computers? Or do you think I’m completely insane? Do you prefer writing with a pen and paper, or do you like typing on the computer? Let me know your thoughts.
Well, as an IT guy, I obviously love computers – but I do know what you’re talking about. When it comes to editing or noting, it’s very difficult to translate that natural ‘writing’ instinct to computer.
That problem went away when I bought my Surface Pro, because it’s a touch-screen with one of those nifty styluses. So you can actually make hand-written notes on the screen, and take notes during lecture or whatever with the pen. It’s super awesome, and it’s taken away a lot of those problems I had.
If you’d rather not fork out for a Surface, I think you can get a Stylus for iPad and the Paper app, which will let you jot down dots, draw and sketch stuff with a natural-feeling pen – but without the physical paper inconvenience.
But it’s the ‘paper inconvenience’ that I love! It’s not just about the writing, it’s about the looking at it afterwards. I much prefer reading off actual paper as opposed to a computer screen. It’s why I can’t stand online textbooks.
John Holton said:
I pretty much have to type everything (with one hand) since the stroke. Bummer, because I used to like writing with paper and pen (and playing guitar, and having two usable hands…)
Have you looked at Scrivener yet? That would give you the ability to write out of order and put everything in order later. A cheaper alternativer for Windows is yWriter.
I’ve considered getting something like Scrivener…it wouldn’t totally solve the problem, but it would be close.
My main problem is that I like everything spread out before me. A computer doesn’t offer that. It offers everything on one screen, and if you want to view more than one thing, you have to make everything else smaller.
Ideally, I would have something like what Iron Man has…with the computer stuff just surrounding him for him to manipulate to his will.
Kat Joyce (@almostmadkat) said:
Another person who understand how I feel. I adore my computer, but sometimes I just need the good old fashioned paper. It felts to clear my head and understand things properly if that makes sense. I’m so glad there is another person who has this problem. Not that I want you to suffer or anything!
It’s always nice to know there are other people out there who feel our pain.
I just love having everything laid out in front of me, and being able to just pick things up and rearrange them with my hands. Computers don’t offer that.
Renee Bookboyfriends said:
I also love computers, but I ALSO FEEL YOUR PAIN!!!! Because I love the physical copies of things (including textbooks! I HATE, no LOATHE computer/ipad textbooks! SO ANNOYING! And I find I can’t concentrate on them properly like a textbook. And, I believe there was a study done that found that people remember more from reading physical copies rather than online screens.
But I also like trees and want to protect trees from being cut down so I HAVE AN ETERNAL DILEMMA!!!!
And also writing via computer seems to be easier for me because having 200 pages of microsoft word printed would NOT be good on my desk!!!!
Thanks for sharing Cassie! xoxo
Yes, that is why I prefer writing on a computer to some degree…even 50 pages is excessive to have lying around.
But at the same time, I would much prefer that to having to scroll through a computer to find certain scenes…it’s why I don’t like ebooks. You can’t flick through and ebook.
And, yeah, I’m fairly certain there was a study…it’s a shame people didn’t listen to it.
Kara @ Diary of a Teen Writer said:
I love notebooks, and notepads, and things where I can write down story ideas and what not, but when it comes to actually writing something — then I will always choose a computer over a book. It’s just to much easier to revise and edit. xD
I actually find it easier to revise/edit when it’s a physical copy…the trusty red pen does not work on a computer.
But for actually writing, yeah I do use a computer, otherwise my hand would die.