Friday, June 24, 2011

Writing Tools: Then and Now

The writing tools of before...
the sounds of a pen scratching across the paper, the pen tapping against the ink bottle, the fan blades whir in the background, blots of ink splash as words are edited out, the jangle of the phone...

And the different tools of today...
fingers click across the keyboard, air conditioning hums, the rhythm of backspace tapped out as words are deleted, the favorite tune ringing on the i-phone, an e-mail appears on the computer...

My preference is the tools of before, like my native tongue.  As I become more fluent with using today's tools, switching back and forth becomes a way of generating new ideas.  If I get stuck at a certain point, picking up a piece of paper and a pen, or transposing the words on paper to the computer gets the words flowing again.  As some languages have better phrases and more expression than others, so I can find a variety of expression as I write using a variety of tools.

Which tools do you prefer?


  1. Bless you, Maureen! So glad to have you at the Writer's Reverie! I do love the old familiar paths of a beautiful pen and paper. Sometime, journals - for years it was canary yellow pads that I'd transcribe to my electric typewriter. Oh! The day I got a new typewriter with correction ribbon I was over the moon! Even as a very young writer I preferred old things. I attempted to write a gothic mystery novel at age eleven knowing only what I saw on the cover art of my mom's Victoria Holt novels. For some reason, I thought all writers wrote novels with pen and ink - so I got a quill pen and ink well and actually got about five chapters into the tome before I was completely lost. Still have it, and it gives me a chuckle to connect with my young self when I look it over. Praise God for the ease of computers - we can get the Word out swiftly and efficiently in this swiftly moving planet (as Ms. L'Engle might say).
    Joy to you!
    Miss Kathy

  2. Ah, Madeleine L'Engle, a favorite of mine, too! Love her journals. She is my inspiration for a woman who wrote in and around life: while stirring the pot, while waiting in the car, while walking through the woods, or wherever, whenever. She had a full household and a full life and used it well.

  3. I like to use notebooks and pens for jotting down ideas, but when I get serious about actually writing I'm on the keyboard. When ideas and sentences start coming fast my writing gets scribbled, so the computer becomes the best tool for me. I'm with you Maureen...when I get stuck it's helpful to doodle around with it on paper with pen.