Friday Fun is a group post from the writers of the NHWN blog. Each week, we’ll pose and answer a different, get-to-know-us question. We hope you’ll join in by providing your answer in the comments.
QUESTION: Early adopter or luddite? A shiny laptop and the latest writing software, or crisp paper and a fine pen? Which do you prefer? Why? If you use both, what drives your choice?
Lisa J. Jackson: Definitely not an early adopter. I wait for something to be out for a year or two before I dive in. My laptop is a few years old now, and my PC is a couple. Both need to be upgraded, since XP just isn’t hip anymore, but, well, I’ll keep plugging along. For journaling of any type it’s paper and pen for me. I find that I feel more creative writing with paper and pen, but I’m so much faster with a keyboard – so it’s a tough battle there. I can capture my thoughts as they happen when I type, writing, well, not so much. I like having options in everything, and this is just a good example.
Diane MacKinnon: I love writing by hand in my Clairefontaine journal with my handmade fountain pen (I buy the journals myself but the pen was a gift from a friend.) I occasionally journal on my computer but I love my collection of written notes from over the years. All other writing I do on my laptop, a 7 year old Mac. My husband replaced the hard drive on it when I ran out of memory, so it should keep me going for another while. I, too, type faster than I can write, but sometimes I need the slowness of the handwritten page to gather my thoughts. Other times I love the speed of my fingers as they fly across the keyboard. One of these days I’ll try some novel-writing software, but I just haven’t had a good reason to get it yet. My old-fashioned methods are working well for me for now.
Wendy Thomas: I used to be entirely long hand. In fact, when I was learning journalism skills, I was taught to literally cut and paste using scissors and tape. Well, I’ve come a long way baby. Although I carry a notebook with me at all times to jot down notes, typing is how I write these days. I just don’t have the time to write something out and then transcribe it later.
Of course as a result, my handwriting has gotten much worse prompting more than one person to ask me if I’m a Doctor when I hand them a note. 🙂
Deborah Lee Luskin: I bought my first Mac the day after Word was released for Apple – and have never looked back. As a result, my handwriting is nearly illegible. On the rare occasions I’m forced to use pen and paper, I transcribe it as soon as possible – while I still have an idea of what I wrote. The big exception is poetry: that’s strictly a pencil and paper affair for first drafts. But I keyboard my grocery list and email it to my phone. Lest this make me sound like a geek – I’m not. I keep my software updated, but use my hardware until it breaks. And I play the acoustic piano – no batteries or bits, just felt, wood, ivory and strings.
Susan Nye: How about a new laptop with a matt finish? And word because I know it and don’t want to take the time to learn a new software program. I so much rather spend my time writing. (Or skiing like today!) I only use pen and paper when I’m taking notes.