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Putting a pen to paper

Last night I was busy solving the frustrating problem of matching outfits for our family portraits. You know, outfits that match without being too matchy matchy, and without buying brand new clothes for everyone. I think I finally figured it out, but that didn’t leave me any time to write 🙁 so today, as I chug my coffee, I’m going to use the writing prompt for today on the BlogHer website: when writing, do you prefer pen or computer?

I was raised in the generation where computers were accessible pretty much for everyone, yet you were also expected to be able to write (with proper spelling and grammar) with a pen and paper, at least in school anyways. I can say since graduating from University, I hardly ever write on paper, unless it’s a grocery list. This has made my writing very casual and, well, poor. I completely rely on spell check, and if I was to ever ask my husband to proof read a blog post, I’m sure he would find many an error with the grammar (he writes/edits for a living). In University, I preferred to write my rough drafts in pen and paper, and then I would only type up my final draft. This allowed me to physically see my work all laid out in front of me, I would even highlight paragraphs in different colours and number them to change around their order. This was just the way my brain worked best. Most people thought it was silly to write it all out by hand and then type it up, especially since you can easily move paragraphs around in a word processor. Others thought it was a brilliant way to organize my work. Everyone works differently I guess. And it was kind of absurd for me to work that way, since I was an Environmental Studies major, who was wasting a large amount of paper…

That was different though, that was school work; writing 30 page essays about everything from tidal patterns and rock formations to the intrinsic value of forests.  I thoroughly enjoyed every paper I wrote (nerd alert!) but it was not writing just for the fun of it. Blogs are generally more casual; spelling and grammar are not as important (says the now lazy writer). My thoughts do not need to be as thought out, if that even makes sense, so I don’t mind using a computer. Sometimes I might still jot down ideas for a blog post on paper, if I think of something when I’m not near the computer, but usually I just type it out as I go. Maybe my blog posts would be better if I followed my fool-proof essay writing format. Maybe I would have time for that if I didn’t have two kids and a house to keep clean. Maybe this way of writing is the new standard, and not just for blogs…Have you read a newspaper lately? I sure am glad I didn’t follow through on my dream of becoming a journalist, since the art of writing a great article seems dead!

So I guess it seems that now I prefer the convenience of a computer, of being able to quickly get my thoughts out, give it a once over and hit spell check. I think a little part of me just died as I admitted that.

PS ~ if you find any spelling or grammar errors in this post, understand I am not trying to be ironic!

  1. I'm thinking of running with this prompt and maybe writing a blog post by hand then uploading the scanned image to my blog! Everyone can laugh at my penmanship.
  2. When your almost 60 and trying to organize your thoughts into paragraghs on a computer its hard. I find I'm much better with pen and paper. And I still can't find spell check on my new computer.

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