The Pen is Mightier than the …Computer?

When I was editing my manuscript a few weeks ago I realized something, I cannot write by hand and I cannot edit on the computer.  Prior to this realization, I had never given either process much thought.

When I did NaNoWriMo in 2010, I started with a notebook and my pen the first few days.  I got stuff written but I realized that I was going to have to do the work all over again when I typed it in my computer.  Also, my writing is atrocious so deciphering what I scribbled as my brain was throwing out the story proved difficult.  So I started using my netbook to write during work at lunch and the desktop at home.  Low and behold, my word count went up considerably.

Now granted I still edit some thoughts on the screen (if you’re a NaNoWriMo purist sorry) but it’s not true editing so I don’t count it as such.  This kind of “rewriting” is much better for me because I’m not scratching over the wrong word(s) and rewriting something that might be illegible later.

As for my editing, well I have to have that piece of paper in front of me with a red pen to mark on.  I actually prefer red to any other color, even from someone else editing, because it’s easier to see the corrections and suggestions.  Editing on screen doesn’t work for me because I can make notes on the page and refer to them later if I know something needs a change but not exactly what that change needs to be right then.  Plus I can edit anywhere with pen and paper.

It’s stated, and is true, that editing is a different kind of thinking than writing.  I see it in myself as when I write I tend to sit up straight and go.  When I edit I slouch and usually have one hand one my head, sometimes running through my hair (the result of which is my hair becoming a total mess).

While it sounds silly, I think that learning these things about my writing process has made my work better.


About awritersprocess
I have been a writer longer than I can remember. It started with poems in grade school and evolved into the manuscripts, articles, and blogs that I currently write for. My desire to become an editor came later in life but I am no less passionate about that as I am about writing. I have a BA in English (with a minor in History) and have even taken a proofreading class through Editorial Freelancers Association. I am a writer for hire.

One Response to The Pen is Mightier than the …Computer?

  1. You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be really something which I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and very broad for me. I am looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!

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