I have been intermittently blogging for about 6-7 years now. Currently, I run two blogs – this one where I write whatever I feel like writing and the other which is more serious and dedicated to my domain of work – design thinking, innovation, change and behavioral economics.
I have been writing for a lot longer than that. While I started with pen and paper, lately, I have also been using the WordPress app to post and write. This article compares my experience of writing using paper-pen with that of writing on a mobile (not just the WordPress app).
Writing on the go
Writing on the go is great, I love that these devices allow us to express, write on the go but I still carry a notebook and a pen around with me.
It’s much easier to write when I’m on a plane, the pull-out tray on the seat works as a makeshift – though not so sturdy – desk. The only problem with carrying a notebook and a pen to write during a journey is that you have to be careful not to lose it. This year I started writing a book and it was all written in a beautiful notebook which I forgot on a flight. Not only did I lose out on everything I wrote, it also deeply affected my motivation to continue on with the book.
As a precaution, I have started scanning the notebook onto my Google drive every time I write.
Another thing that mobiles enable you to do is create voice memos in case you find writing on the phone tedious, or have a quick idea/inspiration that you want to note, however, there is the added task of transcribing the whole thing.
Writing and Inspiration
The act of writing itself – the physical act of holding a pen and writing on paper – is very sacred to me. Nothing beats sitting on a proper writing desk with your notebook and pen and carving the manifestation of your thoughts into the physical world.
When I first started writing it was with pen and paper, mobile was always primarily a device for texting short messages or responding quickly to emails. Long form writing – articles, essays and stories for me worked best using pen and paper. Honestly – writing on the mobile – not the easiest thing to do. Writing short messages on the phone is fine however when it comes to long texts it can be a little icky. While that is changing, it still has a long way to go for me.
Point: Pen and paper
Now, editing on a mobile, while convenient, is not the easiest thing. It’s often difficult to move the cursor where you want it to go and the less said about autocorrect the better. In terms of writing on actual paper, editing can be a mess, depending on the degree of edits one needs to make.
Enough paper has been sacrificed on the altar of writer’s dustbins.
Finally posting it online, no battle here. It’s obviously easier to post from a mobile. When I write on paper I have the added task of copying everything to Google drive and then rewriting everything on to the WordPress CMS. I do a lot of posting on the mobile, however, I don’t write much on it. I usually keep my articles ready and then post them via mobile.
While on the whole, I agree there are more cons to writing on paper, it’s still my preferred mode of writing. For some reason, I feel more inspired with a pen in my hand. To anyone else looking to write, it takes a while to get used to writing on a mobile, but once you get used to it, you do have the flexibility of blogging anytime you please from wherever you are. I try to mix and match – when I am realy inspired want to go deep I prefer pen and paper – e.g. when I’m working on my book I write in my notebook and when I’m writing something on the fly like this article I do it on a mobile.
While I also use a laptop to write and edit many times, I wanted to focus specifically on the older and the newest ‘tech’ in terms of writing hence not covering laptops in this article.
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