Pen or Keyboard? You choose by Wendy H. Jones
As a writer I have been thinking about the different ways in which we write. Readers often think that writers fall into two camps, those who use a keyboard and those who write by hand. Indeed many writers would, themselves, say they are one or the other. Is this in fact true, and if true, is it always the best way?
I am knee deep in editing at the moment and this entails sitting at a computer and going through the entire novel. I am sure most writers will agree, that it can be long and tiring work. Still, it is one of the most crucial aspects of writing a book. However, editing can, and should, be done in different ways. Once I have finished the edits on my computer, I will print the book out and will then go through it on paper. I will move to a completely different area of the house. Using another medium, and in a new place, can bring a fresh approach to the editing process. I will be wielding my pen and highlighting any areas which need to be changed or culled.
One of the other ways in which I edit, is to read the book out loud. This will be done from the paper version whilst wandering about the house. Not exactly Hamlet, but I will project as though I am on the stage in Stratford. Many anomalies can be brought up during this part of the process. I also read sections of my book aloud from my phone. This focusses the mind on a small section of the work and, again, throws up anomalies.
The same holds true for writing. I usually write using a keyboard. I am an early adopter of all things technological. Therefore, a computer, and keyboard, will always be my preferred option. However, there are many variations on this. I use my main computer, my macbook and my iPad to write. Yes, I agree these are all keyboards, but different ones, so you are writing in a different way.
A month ago I was at a writing group, with no laptop. I am the group leader and set an exercise for everyone, including myself. I had no electronics on which to write, so was forced to use a pen and paper. I was surprised at how much I got written despite the unfamiliar feel to it all. I was quite pleased with the result and will develop the story into a longer one. I think the different way of writing forced my mind to go in new directions.
As a writer I often jot notes down whilst I am out and about. Again, I do this in different ways. I usually have a notebook with me wherever I go. However, if I think of something whilst I am using an electronic device, I use either Moleskine (the digital version) or Evernote to jot them down. So even my note taking is performed in different ways.
My challenge to you, as a writer, is to try new ways of writing. If you feel that you can only write using a keyboard, or vice versa, give the other medium a go. See what happens. You may be pleasantly surprised.
If you have any more hints and tips about the writing process please add them below. This could be a great resource to help writers everywhere.
About the Author
Wendy lives, and writes, in Dundee Scotland. Her first book, Killer's Countdown, was published in November, 2014. The second book in the DI Shona McKenzie Mysteries, Killer's Craft, will be released on 20th July, 2015. You can find out more on her Amazon Author Page