The Pen Is Mightier (Than the Word Processor)

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The Pen Is Mightier (Than the Word Processor)

I’m an analog girl in a electronic world. I like old items and old-style. I employed a rotary-dial phone before the march associated with progress in danger to grind us both. My car just famous its twenty fourth birthday. I prefer canvas shoes, gin martinis and home made afghans.

Yet I’m a writer within contemporary times, and I have adapted to be able to new technology. Frankly, the majority of it has been a new blur. I truly do remember, however, sitting by yourself at night in the office building between the nineteen eighties, watching the boss’s inkjet printer slowly emit 200 websites of randomly ASCII character types. For all That i knew of, the computer ended up being trying to inform us something. I sent often the pages to the tech folks at secret headquarters for study. They continue to haven’t received back to my family.

Fast-forward in order to now, any time miniature microphones and voice-to-text software literally enable us all to write seeing that fast even as can speak. The next phase is virtually upon us, in which a machine will write the novels regarding me-and without doubt publish all of them, collect royalties and spend the money about nice items for by itself.

But I feel it’s time to ask: Is more tech always an improvement? Is definitely faster really better than slower? Is the desired destination more important versus the journey?

Using those queries in mind, My spouse and i took that upon by myself to investigate. To be able to re-immerse personally in the elements and sensations I used to enjoy so meistens en-and and experiment with also older methods-I spent a new weekend working away at my latest novel using an assortment of engineering that came between the developing of the Sphinx and the opening up night of This Fair Girl.

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On Saturday early morning I satisfied down at my writing dining room table, a mug of coffee beans at my part and a wood-cased pencil during my hand. I selected a Blackwing 602, noted for its soft core and fragrant plank casing. (I’d decided to by pass inscribing words and phrases on stone or moist clay capsules and start while using next producing technology almost all closely associated with those: graphite. )

Pad sharpening can be an act regarding beginning. You sit down, an individual gather your self, you touch up. You feel along with hear typically the sharpener functioning, and you scent that clean wood. An individual behold your own personal newly exposed graphite. If the point is actually sharp, you really feel brief stress over whether the microscopic, conical top area will break off as you effect it to help paper.

I quite like the deliberateness of the notepad experience. As you take notes, the point degrades to no matter what degree of fatigue you feel such as tolerating. An individual rotate the to take advantage of typically the wear pattern-every rotation comes with a sharper borders.

When you publish with a pad, you are, within a real feeling, drawing. If you’re laying down typically the two-dimensional pictures of terms. You can create little or maybe big; together with light tension or weighty; you can pic carefully or maybe race down in whatever version regarding cursive is yours.

You can erase mistakes! However you’re for a tear, you are able to just strike through along with vigor and maintain going. Or you can flurry lower a satisfying storm connected with obliterating angle. The re-sharpening pause is actually a balm. When sharpening, you will have a chance to research, change the focal length of your current gaze, using tobacco thinking for just a moment in addition to use your hands and fingers differently.

My spouse and i wrote regarding 1, 000 words using the Blackwing, experiencing its simple sturdiness. An individual baby a new pencil. It is possible to leave it left, you can even lose it without a lot grief. You may write along with it in a canoe or with a mountain ledge, or upside-down while lying down in bed. Don’t worry about it about ink, mechanisms, electric batteries.

Mid-morning, My spouse and i skipped ahead in time and unholstered our trusty plastic-type material Pentel programmed with a. seven mm head, in the relatively soft as well as bold 2B grade I love. The obvious good thing about the technical pencil is not a sharpening, not any bother. An individual click a button or twirl the lens barrel to advance your business lead, and you can write fast and precise. The writing expertise is less diverse, though. Which is price you pay.

Having any pencil, one must bring many pressure on bearing, which sets wear and tear on you. My publishing elbow received sore after a few hours of pencil job.

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Following lunch I turned to a small grouping of instruments you need to dip with ink, that will marvelous water humans very first concocted within Neolithic moments. Hollow reeds served while writing instruments in early Egypt, China and taiwan and the Midst East. These people still intended for drawing along with special calligraphy.

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I’d identified a reed pen during my art container, so I started off with that. It turned out a 7-inch-long wand about a half-inch throughout diameter along with cut with a quill-like level. I popped a jar of black color Noodler’s tattoo, dipped the actual reed inside and began writing. My partner and i blobbed an excessive amount of ink straight down at first, then got used to making strong strokes.

Still, I had in order to reload together with ink every few words. Because of that, and also apart from the novelty, the experience was wearying and just not simple. I identified how a fine reed using an expertly completed point-and a halfway seasoned scribe-could job some splendor.

Writing which has a quill don’t go greater. I’d identified a large feather during a walk a few years in the past and ended up saving it. Right now, following a web based tutorial, I made a writing position from it is shaft. Much like the reed, often the quill imparted an unattractive blot before scratchily producing a contiguous line. After regarding 10 thoughts, it leaped dry. My partner and i reloaded and kept heading, but the job was sluggish and vexing. Thinking about the undeniable fact that Shakespeare published all of their plays along with such an put into practice made me close to sick along with pity. Yet life ended up being slower after that, and I think anyone had a lot more patience.

To get my night writing I used a new steel-dip pencil, instrument for ones for many some sort of scrivener throughout the 19th centuries when mass production created steel absences reliable and also affordable. The instant I got choosing it, I perceived what a gigantic technical leap forward it turned out. I employed a plastic-type material holder along with a Speedball C-4 italic nib, made of a couple pieces of metallic that application form a tiny printer reservoir utilizing surface antagonism. I could create half a page before having to re-dip, in addition to OMG precisely how almost lovely my lumpish handwriting seemed! My writing output went with gushing, gratifying speed weighed against any prior method.

I actually wrote appreciatively, all evening, with the very lightweight drop pen, together with almost no hand/elbow fatigue.

Sunday morning, I started in which has a fountain note down, which gives you the best of the bottled-ink world minus the hassle and also hazard on the open inkwell. For this session I employed my smaller Pelikan Souveran and some brownish ink. Having its deliciously easy nib and warm acetate barrel, often the fine pen wrote like the wind. Our breathing slowed up, my body calm and I authored for websites and internet pages without needing to replenish.

After 1 hour, I changed to my inexpensive plastic-type material Lamy Apple safari, the body with sprightly neon-yellow. That creating experience seemed to be just as exciting. Smooth plenty of, easy to have and just ordinary fun in order to wham down words together with.

Later early in the day I got my Parker Jotter, which ubiquitous midcentury-modern item found in millions of desks drawers world wide. The ballpoint pen, popularised between the Universe Wars, is pretty much the final in ink-based writing benefit. Inexpensive, idiot-proof, uniform. I actually wrote several hundred thoughts. The experience ended up being serviceable however bland-on typically the order of the mechanical pen.

Finally, about Sunday morning, I ventured into my boulderweight 1926 Underwood typewriter. I would acquired the item for a efficiency of Leroy Anderson’s “The Typewriter” using a local symphony orchestra. (My usual part is timpanist. ) Upon stage, the appliance was wonderfully loud, using a supremely respected carriage give back that supply the perfect zzzip!

Consequently yeah, for a percussion instrument and physical marvel it was great. But for actually publish with? Precious God. My partner and i measured the travel with the keys: the inch . 5, as opposed to the a single millimeter associated with my computer system tablet’s key pad. You have to good old ram the tips down that entire inchand- a-half to acquire a good feeling from the bow onto the paper. I ran across myself racing out phrases as if actively playing a Rachmaninoff finale to the back row. The clack, the zip, the actual rhythm, the ding! The world knows you aren’t writing! My partner and i tried to gain strength from smell with the machine necessary oil and the magic of the take some time, but my very own upper body only ran outside of gas. I actually barely got through 240 words-about one full web site in typeset.

I must declare, though, My spouse and i loved often the retro-funk outcomes. Each notification displayed its own pattern regarding wear, its fractional difference in aiming, its own minor personality. Any manuscript prepared on a typewriter such as this seems almost such as a living factor. On Saturday evening, my experiment comprehensive, I looked at (weak and weary) these questions:

WHY ACTUALLY PLAY AROUND TOGETHER WITH OLD-SCHOOL TECHNOLOGICAL? Given it challenges and encourages our hands, sight and head with varied tools. Folks are different! Some people work better simply by going little by little and intentionally, some by simply blasting out there words in a blistering speed. My concepts flowed the top (and I felt the particular best) while using the pencil, the actual steel-dip note down and the water fountain pens. That steel-nib drop pen had been truly a exposure.

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I have an excellent friend who may be blind and also enjoys every one of the modern aid of mp3 audiobooks, microphones in addition to optical-characterrecognition gentle ware. Let’s assume that Braille ought to now end up being obsolete, I asked him not too long ago if he / she uses the idea anymore. Amazingly, he explained he employs Braille instruments all the time: with regard to quick notes to themselves as well as longer things they wants to take along and learn back noiselessly when your dog is out and about. Which resonated. Though I can speak notes into my telephone, I prefer writing stuff down, and I’m in no way without a portable computer, pen and pencil in my purse.


Typically the payoff for me is this: Once i type the handwritten version into the computer-say, every 10 or twenty pages-I perform very natural-feeling first revise and minor changes, thus delivering a true draft-and-a-half, as I want to think of the item. Labor-intensive. Although fruitful. There is denying, regarding sheer productivity and variety of work, almost nothing surpasses contemporary computer in addition to wordprocessing tender ware. Those things keep getting better and considerably better: Where after WordPerfect was the living finish, it today makes you wish to slam that person on a large rock. We’re all with debt to Ms Word as well as similar soft ware for making our procedure incredibly easy.


Today’s support wins. 1 might print out a manuscript and do the edit manually (yay, pencil), to get this on-paper image sense connected with things. But for the final solution, there’s nothing similar to deleting in addition to inserting together with up-to-theminute tender ware.


I cannot see anybody the case it is. There’s many it, undoubtedly, and brand-new tech is definitely hugely sensible. I do not think anybody inside the assassinate all their computer. Great and then, you should definitely stop and smell the cedar. You’ll richer to the experience-and your personal writing could reflect in which.


• Old-school technology releases you from the net. No provocation to check good news or web 2 . 0. You can like a quiet, relaxing environment as you create. • Simple, handbook tech is usually durable as well as reliable.

• There is something spiritual about using a wood-cased notepad or a container of tattoo: As you make use of it, you lose it. The object possesses a lifespan.

• Paper matters. Cheap papers, with its large wood-pulp articles and hence rougher surface, brings about ink in order to feather and also bleed. Of these tests My partner and i alternated involving an inexpensive retro-style notebook along with a crazy-expensive premium pad. The main in effectiveness and publishing pleasure was marked. Every little thing wrote better on the insurance pad. Dang.

• Equally as a painting of, state, a plate of fruit could look much more alive as opposed to thing by itself, so do all of these methods create writing look more well than the online, perfectly formed letters on a screen. Thus manual producing tech by itself can stimulate creativity. It is possible to even- my gosh! -doodle in the margins.

• The fits and starts associated with early work-making notes, becoming thoughtful and also meditative-particularly prefer hasslefree instruments: pencil as well as ballpoint pen and papers.

• Whenever writing manually, cuddle right up sideways in your table. That way you don’t have to lean forward, and you will rest the entire forearm pleasantly on the table.

• There’s something about a nib or feature pen gowns encouraging. Your own words move, for sure, yet it’s almost like the tool wants that you do well.

• When you use basic writing technical, you’re experiencing a bit of background. You are composing as the legendary characters wrote, in addition to you’re dissolving the time hole between you and these.

• Web pages produced by manual tech tend to be susceptible to fire, flood, earthquake. So , if they’re not thrown away soon after they’ve dished up their function, they need security.

• When you are enjoying the physical procedure of writing, is actually hard for your little bitch or bastard on your shoulder to influence you to shed heart in addition to quit.

• Studies have recently been done about the benefits of writing by hand as opposed to electronically. Feels the real experience of composing letters and also words secretes more creativity molecules. Similar to that. Hi, if it operates, it works.