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 my daily life in Singapore helps with my mid life crisis.
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