The Pen Is Mightier (Than the Word Processor)

The Pen Is Mightier (Than the Word Processor)

I’m an analog girl in a digital world. I favor old items and old style. I made use of a rotary-dial phone till the march connected with progress threatened to smash us both. My car or truck just aplauded its 24th birthday. I favor canvas athletic shoes, gin martinis and do-it-yourself afghans.

Although I’m any writer with contemporary moments, and I’ve truly adapted to new technologies. Frankly, most of it has been some sort of blur. I actually do remember, although, sitting solely at night within an office building between the nineteen-eighties, watching my boss’s printer slowly excrete 200 webpages of haphazard ASCII figures. For all That i knew of, the computer had been trying to tell us something. My partner and i sent the particular pages on the tech fellas at hq for research. They nonetheless haven’t become back to myself.

Fast-forward to now, if miniature microphones and voice-to-text software literally enable us to write because fast once we can discuss. The next phase is virtually upon us, the place where a machine will certainly write my very own novels for me-and certainly publish them, collect royalties and your time money about nice issues for themselves.

But I believe it’s time to ask: Much more tech necessarily an improvement? Is usually faster really better than sluggish? Is the vacation spot more important than the journey?

With those queries in mind, We took the idea upon by myself to investigate. In order to re-immerse by myself in the elements and sensations I used to take pleasure in so meistens en-and also to experiment with perhaps older methods-I spent some sort of weekend implementing my present novel using an assortment of technological innovation that came between the developing of the Sphinx and the opening up night of Our Fair Girl.

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On Saturday day I resolved down at my writing table, a cup of of coffee beans at my side and a wood-cased pencil inside my hand. I chose a Blackwing 602, known for its soft core and fragrant forest casing. (I’d decided to by pass inscribing terms on jewel or wet clay supplements and start while using next creating technology most closely relevant to those: graphite. )

Notepad sharpening is surely an act associated with beginning. You actually sit down, anyone gather your self, you hone. You feel and also hear the actual sharpener doing work, and you scent that clean wood. Anyone behold your current newly unwrapped graphite. If the point is sharp, you experience brief anxiety over whether or not the microscopic, conical top portion will break off as you feel it to paper.

I quite like the deliberateness of the pencil experience. As you take notes, the point degrades to anything degree of fatigue you feel such as tolerating. A person rotate the idea to take advantage of the actual wear pattern-every rotation supplies a sharper side.

When you produce with a notepad, you are, in a very real sense, drawing. Most likely laying down often the two-dimensional photographs of words. You can produce little or even big; along with light pressure or major; you can pic carefully as well as race down in what ever version of cursive is yours to make.

You can wipe off mistakes! But if you’re on a tear, you can just strike through together with vigor to remain going. You can also flurry straight down a satisfying storm regarding obliterating crochet. The re-sharpening pause is actually a balm. When sharpening, you have a chance to look up, change the center length of your gaze, give up thinking for the moment and use your hands and fingers differently.

My partner and i wrote with regards to 1, 000 words together with the Blackwing, taking advantage of its straightforward sturdiness. It’s not necessary to baby a new pencil. You may leave it left, you can even get crazy without excessive grief. It is possible to write along with it in a raft or with a mountain corner, or upside-down while laying in bed. Don’t worry about ink, mechanisms, electric batteries.

Mid-morning, I actually skipped forward in time in addition to unholstered the trusty cheap Pentel automated with a. 7 mm business lead, in the comparatively soft as well as bold 2B grade I love. The obvious benefit of the physical pencil isn’t any sharpening, simply no bother. You actually click submit or twist the clip or barrel to move forward your lead, and you can produce fast along with precise. Typically the writing knowledge is less assorted, though. Which is price you pay.

Using any pen, one need to bring a few pressure to deal with, which applies wear and tear on you. My writing elbow became sore after the few hours regarding pencil perform.

5 Tips for Writing About Fictional Technology

Soon after lunch My spouse and i turned to several instruments you should dip in ink, in which marvelous water humans 1st concocted throughout Neolithic times. Hollow reeds served seeing that writing instruments in historic Egypt, The far east and the Center East. These people still used for drawing and special calligraphy.

I’d found a reed pen with my art package, so I started out with that. It had been a 7-inch-long wand of a half-inch throughout diameter and cut to a quill-like position. I opened up a bottle of black color Noodler’s printer ink, dipped the particular reed throughout and started out writing. My spouse and i blobbed excessive ink decrease at first, after that got used to making bold strokes.

Even now, I had to be able to reload with ink every few thoughts. Because of that, as well as apart from the originality, the experience has been wearying and not sensible. I observed how a excellent reed with an expertly completed point-and some sort of halfway skilled scribe-could job some splendor.

Writing which has a quill decided not to go far better. I’d observed a large feather during a move a few years in the past and stored it. Today, following a web-based tutorial, My spouse and i made a new writing point from the shaft. Much like the reed, the quill imparted an unattractive blot just before scratchily making a contiguous brand. After in relation to 10 words, it went dry. My partner and i reloaded in addition to kept going, but the job was gradual and vexing. Thinking about the undeniable fact that Shakespeare wrote all of their plays together with such an implement made me almost sick with pity. However life was slower then, and I think every person had considerably more patience.

Regarding my evening writing We used any steel-dip pencil, instrument for ones for many a scrivener over the 19th one hundred year when muscle size production manufactured steel nibs reliable along with affordable. The instant I got using it, My spouse and i perceived college thinks gigantic complex leap forward it had been. I used a plastic-type holder as well as a Speedball C-4 italic nib, made of 2 pieces of sheet metal that web form a tiny printer ink reservoir applying surface anxiety. I could create half a web page before having to re-dip, as well as OMG exactly how almost beautiful my lumpish handwriting seemed! My producing output went with gushing, enjoyable speed in contrast to any preceding method.

We wrote appreciatively, all night time, with the very lightweight plunge pen, with almost no hand/elbow fatigue.

Friday morning, I started in along with a fountain note down, which gives the finest of the bottled-ink world minus the hassle and also hazard from the open inkwell. For this time I employed my tiny Pelikan Souveran and some darkish ink. Having its deliciously smooth nib and warm acetate barrel, the actual fine coop wrote like the wind. My breathing slowed down, my body comfortable and I authored for web pages and web pages without needing to top off.

After 1 hour, I transferred to this inexpensive cheap Lamy Safari, the body in sprightly neon-yellow. That publishing experience has been just as exciting. Smooth plenty of, easy to keep and just ordinary fun in order to wham decrease words with.

Later each morning I indexed my Parker Jotter, this ubiquitous midcentury-modern item seen in millions of desk drawers around the world. The ballpoint pen, popularized between the Universe Wars, is pretty much the greatest in ink-based writing comfort. Inexpensive, idiot-proof, uniform. I actually wrote a number of hundred thoughts. The experience seemed to be serviceable however bland-on typically the order on the mechanical pencil.

Finally, about Sunday morning, I turned to my boulderweight 1926 Underwood typewriter. I had created acquired that for a overall performance of Leroy Anderson’s “The Typewriter” having a local symphony orchestra. (My usual function is timpanist. ) In stage, your machine was splendidly loud, using a supremely respected carriage returning that you try to the perfect zzzip!

Therefore yeah, like a percussion instrument and physical marvel it had been great. But to actually compose with? Precious God. I actually measured often the travel of the keys: a good inch . 5, as opposed to the 1 millimeter regarding my pc tablet’s keypad. You have to good old ram the take a moment down which entire inchand- a-half to secure a good perception from the lace onto the particular paper. I stumbled upon myself racing out thoughts as if performing a Rachmaninoff finale directly to the backside row. Often the clack, the actual zip, often the rhythm, typically the ding! The world knows if you’re writing! I tried to gain strength through the smell of the machine olive oil and the oklahoma city of the take a moment, but my very own upper body only ran outside of gas. My partner and i barely got through 240 words-about one particular full web page in typeset.

I must point out, though, I actually loved the retro-funk results. Each page displayed a unique pattern regarding wear, its own fractional variation in alignment, its own minor personality. Any manuscript written on a typewriter such as this would seem almost like a living issue. On Sunday evening, the experiment full, I thought about (weak as well as weary) these kind of questions:


Because it challenges in addition to encourages each of our hands, view and mind with diverse tools. People are different! Us work better by simply going slowly and gradually and by design, some by blasting out there words at a blistering speed. My suggestions flowed the best (and I felt the particular best) with all the00 pencil, typically the steel-dip pencil and the fountain pens. This steel-nib dip pen was truly a revelation.


I have an excellent friend who might be blind and also enjoys every one of the modern support of audio books, microphones and optical-characterrecognition soft ware. Let’s assume that Braille must now always be obsolete, I asked him not too long ago if they uses that anymore. Astonishingly, he mentioned he uses Braille resources all the time: regarding quick information to him or her self as well as longer things they wants to take with you and study back silently when she has out and about. In which resonated. Despite the fact that I can talk notes in my cellphone, I desire writing things down, and also I’m never ever without a laptop, pen along with pencil in my purse.


Often the payoff for me is this: When I type the handwritten draw up into the computer-say, every 12 or twenty pages-I start a very natural-feeling first revise and minor changes, thus delivering a true draft-and-a-half, as I prefer to think of that. Labor-intensive. However fruitful. Extra fat denying, intended for sheer productivity and number of work, nothing at all surpasses modern-day computer in addition to wordprocessing delicate ware. Those things keep improving and a great deal better: Where when WordPerfect is the living stop, it now makes you wish to slam your face on a stone. We’re all with debt to Microsoft company Word along with similar tender ware for making our method incredibly uncomplicated.


Today’s tech wins. One particular might use a manuscript and do a good edit manually , (yay, pencil), to get in which on-paper graphic sense connected with things. Except for the final product or service, there’s nothing including deleting and inserting having up-to-theminute soft ware.


I cannot see anybody the case it is. There’s more of it, undoubtedly, and completely new tech is hugely in charge. I do not think anybody should always assassinate their particular computer. Great and then, make sure to stop along with smell the cedar. You may richer for any experience-and your current writing may just reflect that.


• Old-school technology excuses you from the internet. No temptations to check what is this great or web 2 . 0. You can consume a quiet, relaxing environment while you create. • Simple, manual tech is usually durable in addition to reliable.

• There is something metaphysical about owning a wood-cased pad or a package of printer: As you put it to use, you lose that. The object features a lifespan.

• Paper concerns. Cheap pieces of paper, with its substantial wood-pulp articles and hence rougher surface, causes ink in order to feather and also bleed. Along with tests I alternated concerning an inexpensive retro-style notebook and a crazy-expensive large pad. The in functionality and producing pleasure has been marked. Almost everything wrote better on the premium pad. Dang.

• In the same way a drawing of, point out, a plate of fruit could look considerably more alive compared to the thing by itself, so do every one of these methods create writing appear more in existence than the internet, perfectly shaped letters on a screen. Thus manual composing tech alone can encourage creativity. You could even- my gosh! -doodle in the margins.

• Typically the fits and starts involving early work-making notes, becoming thoughtful along with meditative-particularly favour hasslefree applications: pencil as well as ballpoint pen and paper.

• Whenever writing manually ,, cuddle up sideways in your table. This way you don’t have to slim forward, and you can rest your entire forearm pleasantly on the table.

• There’s something special in a nib or water fountain pen which encouraging. Your own words move, for sure, yet it’s pretty much like the tool wants one to do well.

• When you use typical writing technological, you’re experiencing a bit of story. You are creating as each of our legendary characters wrote, along with you’re dissolving the time hole between you and them.

• Web pages produced by film based tech tend to be susceptible to flame, flood, earthquake. So , in the event they’re not necessarily thrown away after they’ve provided their function, they need security.

• Giving up cigarettes enjoying the actual physical technique of writing, it can hard for your little bitch or hybrid on your glenohumeral joint to convince you to lose heart along with quit.

• Studies have already been done about the benefits of creating by hand as opposed to electronically. Appears the real experience of creating letters and words produces more creativity molecules. Like that. Hey, if it is effective, it works.

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