Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Paper vs. Computer.

Writing, to me, is something magical. Where do the words come from - placed one after the other, to form coherent (sometimes) ideas meant to move me (and subsequently, others)?

When writing for real, I always compare it to spelunking: diving down deep to my reservoir of words and thoughts to see what I can retrieve. I am of the belief that if I dive far enough (and am left alone), I can get the good stuff.

It's like Pearl Diving.

And it's just as dangerous*.

So it's a question of Muse. And it got me thinking.

What is the best way to get deep:

Pad & Paper, or Keyboard & Computer?

The easy answer is "whatever works". But that's too vague.

There is something visceral about using a Pen and sheet of Paper. Something analog that speaks to me in a "rubbing two sticks together to make fire" kind of way. It adds to the illusion of Magical Process, and whatever adds to that illusion builds on that illusion, and (may) produce better (deeper) work.

Alternately, at 70, writer Charles Bukowski started using a Mac that his wife gave him for Christmas --

"There is something about seeing your words on a screen before you that makes you send the word with a better bite, sighted in closer to the target. I know a computer can't make a writer but I think it makes a writer better. Simplicity in writing and simplicity in getting it down, hot and real. When this computer is in the shop and I go back to the electric, it's like trying to break rock with a hammer. Of course, the essence of writing is there but you have to wait on it, it doesn't leap from the gut as quickly, you begin to trail your thoughts -- your thoughts are ahead of your fingers which are trying to catch up. It causes a block of sorts indeed."

My own personal process has moved from Pen & Paper to Post-it's and Computer. But I'm torn enough to write this post, hoping that by the last word I type I'll have the answer.

*Sometimes I don't want to come back up for air. It's cozy down here.


1 Comment:

Lisa said...

Hello, Just bloghopping. Great blog!

Be Well :)