Do Writers Prefer Pen and Paper or a Laptop?

Salman Rushdie says he only started using the computer in 1995 but now mixes up long hand and editing on a computer.

Do you work on a computer? Or in longhand?

Well, I work on both. I do a lot of my preliminary work in notebooks. I always carry a notebook and I’m always scribbling in it. Just ideas and phrases and thoughts, little passages and so on. When I’m actually writing writing, I do it on a laptop because, for a start, it’s just so portable and you can take 15 different versions with you.

And you can undo those blockages 100 pages ago.

Yeah, but also before laptops I used to do it on a typewriter and what I found is that when sentences were in my handwriting, I found it difficult to be objective about their quality. I either thought they were too good, or I thought they were too bad. I was either too critical of them or not critical enough. I couldn’t have proper distance. And, somehow, type — or now print on a screen — allows me to be much more neutral. Dispassionate. And just look at it and say: Well, that doesn’t quite work. Or: Yes, leave that alone, it’s good. But then what I do is I’m endlessly printing it out and scribbling all over it and putting the scribbles back into the computer

About bookjunkie

Blogging about life in Singapore & recently cancer too.
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