Pen or Computer – What’s Your Preference for Writing?

I have just involved myself in a writing exercise – NaBloPoMo.  It’s exercise that I desperately need. My hope is to be more successful in building writing muscles than I am at building muscles which protect my internal organs and hold up my skeleton. I lack diligence when it comes to physical exercise. If I’ve written a daily post from today until the end of November, I will consider myself a success!

I could start by writing about a topic I’ve chosen, but often that’s why I don’t write. I can’t think of what to write about, but that’s not honest; actually, I can think of plenty of things to write about. The real reason behind my reluctance to write is that I’m afraid to share. I worry about offending someone or revealing too much of myself. Fortunately for me, NaBloPoMo is providing writing prompts. Today’s prompt is: “When you are writing, do you prefer to use a pen or a computer?” This I can easily answer and I doubt I’ll offend anyone and I won’t reveal any secrets with my response.

I prefer a pen and paper if I write poetry and a keyboard and computer if I write prose.

Writing poetry is like painting with words and requires a tool that can be manipulated like a paintbrush. I need to scribble, scratch, and scatter words when writing poetry. A pen allows fluidity. I want to see the form the words take on paper when I draft poetry: poems have shape. Additionally, all those feelings extracted in the process of writing poetry flow much easier down my arm to a pen than they ever could to a keyboard.

Prose writing is much easier using a computer for two reasons. First, there is much more text in prose writing. Typing words is much more efficient that jotting them down with a pen. Additionally, I like to edit. This text will be edited many times before I publish the content. I may even come back at a later time and edit this content. Most writers will admit that they are never truly done with a work. They can always find better ways of expressing themselves.

I’m happy to have discovered NaBloPoMo today. I feel hopeful about the days to come and I look forward to expressing myself even if it feels a little uncomfortable.

3 Replies to “Pen or Computer – What’s Your Preference for Writing?”

  1. Pingback: Cool Writing Exercise « The Nightly Poem
  2. Way back when, I used to really enjoy writing in a journal (of the bound book variety) with a pen. It’s been ages since I’ve done that. Now I write almost exclusively on my laptop. I do this largely because it’s faster, especially since (like you) I edit a lot. I typically even edit blog comments. (And get annoyed when I find that I have left typos, and errors introduced by poor cutting and pasting.)

    I have found recently that when taking notes for school and work, I sometimes really like to work things out on paper. It’s so much faster to sketch out a diagram with a pen. It lets me be less linear in what I’m thinking through, which sometimes helps.

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