Mastodon The Writing Desk: Back to basics – writing with a pen

13 October 2013

Back to basics – writing with a pen

I’ve just returned from two weeks in southern Spain where I stayed in a villa with no internet. I left my laptop at home but soon invested in a spiral bound A4 lined pad and a Pilot ‘super grip’ pen to capture those ideas for my current work in progress. Although I spent a lot of time developing the plot and characters for my first novel on paper, I’ve always relied on my laptop for writing and have come to take wireless broadband for granted. I decided to ‘free write’ some pages every day on holiday, early in the morning before the others were even out of bed. I’d forgotten how much easier it is to just write when you can’t keep revising as you go along. On the laptop I tend to keep moving things around, editing as I write, even though I know it interrupts the flow and should be done later. There is now the task of typing in twenty odd pages of handwritten notes but it was worth it. I’ve always thought the technology helps – and it does but it’s good to go back to basics one in a while.  What do you think?


  1. I write better with a pen. When I type I constantly edit. It just seems to flow from head to fingertips with a pen :)

  2. Interesting. Did you find the style / content of your writing different? I tried writing using Dragon speech recognition software and found I was a different author. Then after 20 minutes or so my voice must have changed to my set up voice profile ... getting tired perhaps, and the errors multiplied. I like you usual write on a PC and do rough self editing as I go along. I understand Jeffrey Archer still writes with a pad. I will also be interested to see what others think. Alexander of the Allrighters.

    1. Not sure if it was the relaxed Spanish atmosphere but I found it easier to write descriptively - and harder to write dialogue than on the laptop. It was also liberating NOT to be able to check my facts on the internet!


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