Computers have a unique way of making us writers a bit mentally lazy — indulging in a stream of consciousness writing. One doesn’t take the extra few minutes to think about what one is going to write or think about the missing pieces and how they all fit together It is, perhaps, because, we can cut, paste and modify with relative ease. We are constantly in “draft” mode and any addition and subtraction of words is nothing more than a mere act of readjustment.
In comparison, writing with a fountain pen brings a different kind of rigor — forcing you to slow down, think, visualize and compose the story before committing it to paper. I still am trying to get comfortable with the idea of writing with ink on paper. Even in early going, I find myself becoming measured and careful about what I want to say. Cutting and pasting, isn’t that easy. Every mistake, often results in a new draft which in turn forces me to self edit. Of course, with that comes tired hands, or as some would say, the gratification of physical exhaustion.
To be clear, I am not trying to say that one method of writing — on computers or on a piece of paper —is better than the other. After all, I might draft on a piece of paper, but in the end my medium of publishing still is the Internet. And for that I do need a computer.