Lillian's Blog

March 28, 2011

Writing On Paper First Contrast To Writing On The Computer First

Filed under: Uncategorized — register1 @ 9:17 pm

Writers use to write on paper and then type on a typewriter. Now writers write on paper and then on a computer. Many writers only write on their desk top or laptop, instead of on paper. The question I have in my mind is which is more effective. Is writing on a piece of paper first, better and more effective than solely writing on a computer? Of course, many writers find one way better than the other. But which way is easier? I always write on paper first before transferring the words to my laptop. I decided to experiment to see which is easier and more effective; writing on paper or the computer only. I also tried to write key short notes on my smart phone instead of on a small writing pad.

After doing this experiment, I found that I enjoyed writing on electronic devices at first. Then one day, I found myself distracted and made a mistake by accidentally pressing the wrong button that deleted one section of my notes. On another day, when writing on my laptop, I was rushing to do something that I needed to do, I made a mistake and exit out of word document when the computer said save and accidentally pressed the “no” button. Now, this does not usually happen. I am very good at saving on my computer. I am rarely distracted, but I realized writing on paper first was better, especially on busy days. I found it easier to go back to my notebook as a backup.

In my opinion, writing only on a computer and not on paper looks easier, because you don’t have to write the same thing again. I believe it is easier and more effective writing on paper first. If you’re not ready to print out the whole novel manuscript or any kind of writing after you type it and something happens to the computer and even a flash drive, paper is always handy. After I finish typing, I make sure to print out the hard copy, which is on paper. Writing on paper first is easier and more effective. Again, this does not work for every writer, but I think it is the best way.



  1. Thanks for your post, Lillian. I like writing on the computer better because I take it more seriously when I do it. I don’t write unless I feel like writing, but when I do, I think harder when I’m composing directly onto a post for my blog. I choose my words more carefully, and I’m less sloppy and careless, and I don’t waste paper. Just my momentary take on it.


    Comment by Gordon Bowman — March 29, 2011 @ 11:41 pm | Reply

  2. I used to love writing by hand. I loved my pens. I loved my notebooks. But computers have destroyed my handwriting. I write only on computers now. I used to back up to floppy disks, then to an external hard drive, but I often forgot to do so regularly. I now backup to a second computer linked on a home network. As soon as I make a change on one of my two laptops, it is duplicated on the other machine. I still like the feel of a nice fountain pen in my hand, but, as I said, I can barely make out what I write with it.

    Comment by Wayne Clark — March 30, 2011 @ 9:17 pm | Reply

  3. Interesting question. I do both. For poetry or things that I’m having problems with, I find that writing on paper seems to help me straighten out the thoughts in my mind. That might be because it slows me down, but it seems to work. Also, on paper, I can edit to my heart’s content. When I’m working on a novel and the scene is fresh and complete in my head, then I type it on the computer first. These are just personal preferences. Other than that, I had a college professor in the early days of pcs that insisted on “save often, save first.” I keep copies of anything I write on my computer, in a second file on my computer, at gmail, and on a cloud. Perhaps, a bit of paranoia. I hate losing things.

    Comment by gaildennehy — March 31, 2011 @ 7:23 pm | Reply

  4. Computers have not destroyed my handwriting–it was never very good. I love composing at the keyboard. Because I type without looking at the keys and am able to go into the moment unfettered by those little things like being able to read what I wrote–I enjoy writing at the keyboard.

    When I have lost things–by happenstance or electricity drops–I take it as a sign from the universe that I missed something and that I needed to rewrite.

    The computer allows me to create without angst.

    Just my take.

    Comment by Nancy E. Randolph — April 2, 2011 @ 1:32 pm | Reply

  5. This is an interesting article Lilian.

    I used to love writing, I could write even on serviettes, and pens were my friends. If anyone needed a pen and a paper, they knew whom to ask, at home. However, when I got my laptop, I have become sort of addicted to it. I like writing on the computer directly, mainly because it is something I have gotten more accustomed to and it is like the keyboard is engraved in my fingertips. I am super fast, I could win a typing competition. However, I still think writing on paper is better because you can always go back to it, and you are certain of not losing your work. Sometimes the computer might be attacked by a virus, or just decide to chew and that’s it. Backing up your work is essential, I have lost enough of mine in the past and so nowadays I have enough places I save all my writings at. Poetry, as someone mentioned above, is best written on paper first. This way, you get to play around with words, compare styles and all that; you cannot do that on computer with as much ease. At the end of the day, one needs to couple both, I think.

    Comment by Halimah — April 11, 2011 @ 8:29 pm | Reply

  6. I love the comment by, Nancy E. Randolph. I have the same challenge. My handwriting, was never very good. I am, left-handed, in a write-handed world!
    But I find, notes, and notebooks everywhere, with my writings, and only I can read them. Something like code, I imagine.
    I take what I have and transcribe to computer. I love the spell-check aspect, and the fact that it can be stored. However, as many have pointed out, it can also be erased at the push of a button.

    Comment by flygurlual — August 7, 2011 @ 9:18 pm | Reply

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