I've written almost as long as I've read. I wrote plays in day care*. I scribbled in diaries for most of middle school in efforts to outwit the hormonal horror playing out inside me. And in high school I began filling those composition books with poetry so overwrought and melodramatic that Tori Amos herself would have winced. And I did it all with a pen.
Typewriting was not something that I did regularly until I got to college. That's when my dormmate taught me how to email and do internet relay chat in the computer lab. I was taken with the technology immediately, but when I was feeling angsty, which was a lot, I flopped on my bed opened my insides with a pen.
Homework was typed. Writing, for me, was always done in ink.
Then I got a blog. And then I did almost all my writing online. All of that stuff--years and years of entries--were typed, either initially (usually) or transribed (rarely).
Now that I've committed to spending a good chunk of time putting words down in an attempt at a writing career, I am experimenting with how best to do it: ink or keys? And while sometimes time or space necessitates pen on paper, I still haven't determined when I should be using longhand and when I should rely on the clack of a keyboard.
Using a pen allows me to be careful, to not rush, to slow down. Sometimes that's a benefit, sometimes it's a hinderance. However, when using my computer to write there are a million temptations just on the other side of the iA Writer application. Dazzling GIFs and new emails and other people's better writing lie just on the other side of my mostly blank white document on the screen. [For instance I *just* checked Gmail and remembered I needed to deposit a check and was nearly sidetracked until I saw this Typepad tab and returned to it!]
So, I'm often torn. Writing in notebooks satisfies a long-ago established urge, and well, it feels downright romantic. Until your wrist begins to cramp.
Writing on a computer is more efficient, but for me computer means INTERNET and it's hard for me to avoid the temptation of distraction on the other side. Because writing is hard work and looking at cats in birthday hats is not.
It would be interesting to compare output based on the manner in which they were written. I could assign myself a topic and a time frame and write two pieces--one in pen on paper, the other typed into a machine--and compare the two.
That I just might do.
*So what if they were near replicas of Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty? I was stealing like an artist.