Paper Notes ?

  • Paper notes in a digital world? Absolutely. I still believe in pens, pencils, notebooks, journals, daily planners, letter writing, thank-you cards, and all things that celebrate a life that respects the placing of words on paper. Though, obviously, the words you are now reading are not on paper, they are definitely on paper - in spirit. In an age of blogs (like this one), blogs about blogs, online publications of all kinds and everything digital, I still celebrate the journal kept in a notebook, bound books, magazines, a good newspaper and the literary world of old. I love to read about writing and writers. I’d rather read an interview with Somerset Maugham or Paul Auster than the gurus of the computer age. Why? I think my full-plunge into computing in the late eighties has worn me down. I feel disconnected in the most connected age of all. Read More Here


I'm Reading

Digital Organization

  • GOLDEN SECTION NOTES is a user-friendly e-notebook that organizes your notes and graphics in a convenient folder tree format. When you must organize that digital
    information, try GS NOTES.


  • You can write Mike Swickey HERE.

    I'll never use your email address any way other than to respond to you. 

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February 06, 2006


Michael Shea

About two years ago I began writing short stories in longhand with a pen on paper. I found that, although slower, I got much more into the story. I broke away from all other distractions and every sentense was already spoken in my mind before I wrote it down on paper.

It turns out that a lot of professional authors handwrite some, if not all, of their work. Neil Gaiman, Neal Stephenson, Stephen King, and Joe Haldeman have all handwritten books. King handwrote Dreamcatcher with a Waterman fountain pen while Neal Stephenson proudly stated in his books that he handwrote the entire Baroque cycle on 100% cotton paper.

Michael Leddy

Glad to see you picked up on Shari Wilson's piece. I've noticed the same thing over many semesters of teaching -- in-class writing is often far more coherent. For me, the best explanation is that there's more opportunity to concentrate, far fewer distractions.

Toni Morrison is another writer who writes by hand. And the manual typewriter still has loyal users. The novelist (and poet) Paul Auster has written an essay about his typewriter, an Olympia portable ("The Story of My Typewriter").


Clive Barker writes all of his books by hand and someone else types them up.

As for me, I definitely notice a difference between my writing that starts out on paper and that which starts out on screen. I just think there's something organic about the process of holding a pen in the hand, that does not translate to typing on a keyboard. For anything important, I try to do most of my first drafts on paper and do my edits on screen.

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I try to do everything by word editing tool because it looks more professional than handwrote. I know some people that they do first by handwrite and then on computer. I know that the result is better than I got for do it directly on pc.


It's a really great thing that you've published this kind of topic here..

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I know people that they prefer to do first handwrite and then they type on the pc and they get excellent results. I know that everybody want to save some time but we have to search for best way to do it.


This blog is fantastic, I hadn't seen any similar before. I have to accept I found it out by a lucky stroke, but I'm impacted with its quality. I hope you continue posting with the same passion you did it here.

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