By Chirali Sharma
Paper or Microsoft Word?That is the question.In a few interviews with upcoming writers I’ve read that while talking about their initial days, they usually talk about how they went to this pub or that cafe with their laptops and the words just poured out of them. That they spent hours just typing away at their laptops. So, to see how affective this was, I decided to write something of my own on a laptop. Before this I would always first write in my notebook and then type it. But for once, I didn’t and went straight to typing.
I sat down with my laptop, all excited and fired up, that I’m going to write the greatest novel, I opened up my Word document and very proudly wrote “ Chapter 1” in bold. And then I waited. My fingers were poised on the keyboard, just waiting for the flood of words to come pouring out of me. But, nothing. Nada. Zilch. Just the blank whiteness of the empty document staring back at me and the cursor blinking as if waiting for me to start writing.But my hands were still and my mind blank. After 10 minutes of this ridiculousness, I accepted defeat and closed my document and shut down my laptop.
Then, I got my notebook and after maybe 5 minutes of getting my thoughts in order, I started to write. And my pen flew across the pages.No hesitations.No doubts.No white of the paper mocking me.All of it was filled with my words. Stained with the ink of my pen.
My preference for writing on a paper is nothing new. I feel that I can write much faster than type.
One of the perks is that there are not any typos while writing on a paper and no auto-correct too. You can write in whatever manner you want to. And if you do not like a word or a sentence, you just have to strike it out and that’s it, you can start a fresh without wasting any time. Sometimes when I write, I imagine myself to be back in the 18th century or so, sitting in my room with a window overlooking the beautiful moors and writing with my quill and a pot of ink.
Whereas while typing, sometimes you can make a huge mistake like deleting your whole. Document only, or maybe accidentally making some move which then you have to undo, and in that process you might lose all your train of thought. And all the hassles that come with typing such as the spacebar is not pushed enough and the stupid keyboard. And the cursor! I mean, you think it’s at one place and you start to write and after you have almost completed your sentence, you find out that you are writing in the middle of another sentence;(shakes head in frustration).
Ok, I think I’m rambling a bit here. Getting back to the topic, of course the best part of writing over typing is the mode of transportation. You can take your notebook anywhere with you, and I mean anywhere, no place is off-limits.
Unlike with a laptop, with which you have to not only carry the item itself, but also a charger and a laptop bag within which you will be keeping all your stuff. And all this is not light, it’s quite heavy. And of course, you will have to find a place which is appropriate for using a laptop and where you have charging outlets. So, when taking your laptop with you, you first have to find a place which checks all of the above prerequisites otherwise you are in for some trouble and then there is the whole scare of someone stealing your laptop or maybe getting a virus and the whole laptop crashes taking with it all of your precious and important documents.
All this is not a problem with a notebook. Nowadays, you have notebooks in every size imaginable and that makes it possible to buy a notebook so small that you can easily stick it in your pocket and be done with it. No hassles, no big, bulky bag, no terror of catching a virus or an accidental crash. All of your stuff is safe in that notebook, no check list in where you can or cannot go somewhere because of a notebook.
I know, I know that using a laptop might be a bit more Eco-friendly because paper is made from trees, but nowadays there are also Eco-friendly paper and notebooks made from recycled material. So that is also a plus.
Thus, I have realized, that maybe for some people it’s easier to type rather than write but for me, personally, I will always love the feel of the paper underneath my hand. To feel the weight of the pen and the dent it makes in the paper, in a way leaving my mark.