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Ink wells at the ready!

Pen and Notebook


© Sanja Gjenero

As I write this post, I’m decisively low-tech. Not by choice, I hasten to add, I’m having problems with some computer hardware so the computer’s off and the most technological device draining power in my room at the moment would have to be the light bulb.

It made me think, what happened to the lost art of writing with pen and paper. What I’m doing now has for the most part, gone. Replaced by computer and keyboard, or even ‘ePaper’. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not afraid of technology (I’m a blogger, how could I be!) but I think people often forget that technology can be a burden, as well as a blessing.

So why is pen and paper so great?

You can work anywhere
Pen and paper are staggeringly portable. You can all tell me a laptop is portable, but I don’t see many laptops that weigh about the same as a piece of paper, and can be folded to fit in your pocket.

The benefit of paper being portable is, you can change scenery without lugging round a load of computer equipment. The park; a cafe, in the middle of a field, take your pick with where you want to work.


The great thing is; the change of scenery can really help invigorate you. During exams, I actually took some revision material into the local cafe and found it a great change from my desk.

Much easier to focus
With technology, comes a wealth of distractions. Instant messaging; social networking sites, e-mail and internet, it’s easy to lose focus on what you were doing, I sometimes find myself forgetting what I set out to do in the first place by the time the computer is loaded up and my IM account has started itself up.

With pen and paper, there really is no excuse for losing focus, sure there’s background noise, but it is rare that this can command your attention as much as a new e-mail in your inbox.

Improved spelling and grammar
When working on paper, we consider what we are writing much more. Mistakes feel much more final, because if anything is being written out as a final copy, a mistake could mean having to start again. This means you’ll be trying your hardest to make things sound their best, and they’re more likely to do so.

Also, so much of our work has to be typed up anyway. This means, once you go back to type up your work, you will notice the spelling and grammatical errors made the first time around, which can then be corrected. Often, the use of computers make us so reliant on spell check, we do not even check our work through. By using pen and paper, you are likely to tweak and improve things as you type your work up.

Nothing gets deleted by accident
There is nothing like the frustration of having written half an essay, only to have a power cut and lose it all. With pen and paper, this isn’t going to happen. Of course, there’s ways your paper could be destroyed; the dog ate it and spontaneous self combustion, but these are much less likely in comparison to the probability of a computer going wrong. That I think we will all admit.

I urge you all to go back to using pen and paper every now and again. Don’t let writing become a lost art, reap the rewards. And that’s not just when the computers broken!

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2 Responses to “Ink wells at the ready!”

  1. Nathaniel says:

    Ha ha, so true… good post.

  2. Carl Hickson says:

    Thanks for the comment Nathaniel.

    I have vowed to work on pen and paper at the start of this academic year. I did consider buying a laptop to take to class, but have decided to use pen and paper instead. Whether I keep this up, we will soon see!