Posted by: annmariegamble | March 22, 2010

Why I Like Computers

Back when I was in college, kids, before there were word processors, I wrote or typed my papers for school on the back of scratch paper and laid it out on the floor. To edit, I snipped it apart with scissors, taped in new paragraphs or rearranged it, and retyped it.

Lately how I’m making words flow in Rite of Return by handwriting in a notebook instead of typing. As you see in the photo, this time I’m not bothering to clip the pages apart to delete or tape in insertions.

Partly this is because my computer isn’t handy during some available writing time and a pen and notebook is. Partly it’s a mental trick: I know I have to transcribe the handwriting, so this really is a rough draft, so it’s okay if it’s . . . rough. Partly it’s the state of the story in my brain: I haven’t thought very far ahead of where I’m writing, so handwriting is about as fast as the words are ready. I can type much faster than I can hand write, but right now that rate isn’t the limiting factor.

Some people think their writing is different if they hand write versus type. I don’t know that my writing changes—I don’t know how you’d test this—but my mind-set when I sit down at the table is different at different stages of the story. I’m glad to have more than one means of getting words on the page.

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Responses

  1. Thanks for taking me back to the days of handwritten assignments, Ann. I hand wrote everything in college – even my thesis. Though I was in the minority, it was still acceptable back then. As for handwritten writing being different to typed writing, I think when you have to write, you write. With whatever means available to you at the time.

  2. I still handwrite a lot of my work. I recently got a brand new laptop that was supposed to do away with that but….old habits die hard. I have 17 manuscripts that are being typed in by someone else…obviously they are handwritten! You are right…there are times when a pen/paper is available and there are times when it just flows better that way 🙂


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