Take A Step Away From The Computer

That’s right. Hands in the air. Anything you say can and will be used against you in court.

I’m finding that my computer doesn’t really help the writing process. And that doesn’t make sense – what is so different about writing with a pen and writing with a keyboard?

Everything, as it turns out.

I write best with pencil and paper. Pens won’t do, since I can’t stand crossing out phrases that could be improved upon. Pencils give me the freedom to doodle along the margins and to mind-map all my plot ideas, themes and characters … in cute little bubbles. It’s aesthetically pleasing.

Composing my thoughts on the computer, like in WordPress or in Word is an entirely different thing. I don’t see the empty document window or text box as a canvas on which my art can be crafted and molded on. I see obstacles to my creativity (and my lovely email inbox).

Writing this post has taken me 2 hours. During that time roughly 30 minutes had been spent on actual typing and forming sentences, while the other 1 hour 30 minutes spent on surfing Amazon, checking email, catching up with friends on Skype as well as reading up on the latest reviews over at the NYT.
In contrast, it takes me roughly 4 hours to write a 3000 word chapter on paper. That means 750 words an hour – a hefty pace, considering I spend a lot of time on rewriting entire pages.

You know what? I should spend more time writing my posts offline. I believe the quality would improve, as well as give me the time to doodle and drink coffee (no fear of a short circuit!) and to smell the flowers and run from the bees.

Take a day away from the computer. It helps.

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Category: Meta · Writing