Alchemical Thoughts

I prefer to write notes on paper, and here's why.

Posted on: October 26, 2011


I definitely prefer to write notes on paper. I prefer to write drafts on paper before I put words online as much as possible. I like the feel of pen or pencil on paper. I feel that my thoughts flow better, maybe even more gracefully when I put pen on paper. I do find the ritual of writing by hand to be soothing, a bit more relaxing.

Even this prompt, which I am now posting online, was written first on paper. In this case, I jotted down my initial ideas in my personal journal. For me, it’s just the natural thing to do. I first develop and expand my ideas in paper, then I copy them, maybe with some minor editing, onto the online medium. That’s what has worked for me for years. It still works for me today. It is an approach that allows me to reflect and think.

Plus, writing on paper let’s me decide if I really want to publish online or not. It is a small precaution against publishing impulsively online. If it is a journal entry, it may stay in my journal. If it’s just a rough draft written on loose paper, and I deem it not worthy of publication, it is very easy to destroy that rough draft and leave no evidence behind. You can’t say the same thing about online publishing. In the online world, once it’s published, it’s pretty much permanent. So there’s another advantage to paper: in a pinch, it can be destroyed,

And yet paper, as long as some care is taken, can be more permanent and accessible than electronic devices, All it takes is a loss of power, and no more electronic notes. With paper, as long as I have a candle, a working pen or pencil, and paper, I can still write, and I can choose whether to share what I write or not. This idea applies to books as well, but that is another note for another time.

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4 Responses to "I prefer to write notes on paper, and here's why."

Interesting. I always go straight to my computer, though I have written on paper when electricity wasn’t available.

Nicole: Thanks for stopping by. I have heard from some folks who do as you do, whether because they type faster than they can write by hand, convenience, so on. Personally, grabbing the notebook and pen is often easier for me than firing up the computer (especially if said computer is not turned on when I want to write) not to mention taking notes on something like a smartphone is just not the best experience. But in the end, you have to go with what works for you as a writer.

Best, and keep on blogging.

Being a very tactile person is probably part of why I like to write with a pen. But I also enjoy the fact that writing by hand forces me to slow down and pay attention to what my mind is trying to tell me.

Also, I love to be able to write lists, be they short or long and check them off. Be it a grocery list, a to do list or a blog ideas list makes little difference. There is something gratifying about that little mark to the left of each item on the list. Each time I make the mark I know I’ve done one more thing.

Wacky? Oh sure, but then you might think it even stranger if you knew that I add items to the lists as I do them, buy them, whatever just so I can check them off.

Yvonne; Thank you for stopping by. I do make a few lists for work as well, and I do find it satisfying to mark off items from them as they get done.

Best, and keep on blogging.

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