February 7, 2011

A Writer's Life - The notebook

It's funny, but sitting here and happily typing on my keyboard I get quite a bit nostalgic thinking back to the times when I would write in a notebook. Ink on paper. That was of course ages ago, when I didn't even own a computer, and the only thing in my possession that did have a keyboard was a semi-antique typewriter my Mom had used many many years ago.

This one looks remarkably like the one I briefly used during my "notebook time" and, shockingly enough, even during my first year at Uni.

Apart from all the advantages that typing on a computer offers, I do miss the good old times of hauling my notebook with me everywhere I went. Maybe it was also the combination of this far more personal outlet of creativity that a pen and a sheet of paper provide, and the places where I took those requisites to, well, write. I guess most of the time I sat in coffee shops for hours on end, sipping on a cup of tea, maybe nibbling on a croissant, and filling those empty pages. Of course I should have been spending that time at school instead, but Ferris Bueller sure left his mark on me and, quite frankly, the time I spent writing was certainly more productive than the time spent trying to stay awake in class.

Maybe it's due to the fact that school's long over and notebooks are outdated, but these days I do most of my writing at home with the help of my friend the computer. I say “friend” so as to keep him or her – and what gender do computers have anyway – favorably disposed to my persona. You never know with these techy tech things, do you? A notebook on the other hand … no fear of loosing files or other disasters.

Apart from the nostalgia behind all of this I realized something else entirely. While I did make the occasional footnote here and alterations to sentences there, I had a tendency to put down my stories quite neatly. These days it's just so easy to type like no one's watching and than to make little adjustments here and big revisions there. Back in the days there was the added need to keep the whole text as eye-friendly as possible. These days, well, it's easier to read something typed instead of written in some undecipherable scrawl like mine allegedly is.

I wouldn't want to trade my keyboard with a notebook when it comes to the convenience the first has to offer, but I have made it a habit again to drag a small notebook with me even if it's merely for jotting down notes and not for the actual writing.
I get the best of both worlds now. And I like that.


  1. Haha, Ferris Bueller left his mark on you.

    I tried to handwrite a short story the other day in my notebook--I was surprised at how quickly my hand cramped and how sloppy my handwriting has gotten...ah, another benefit of relying on technology. ;)

  2. I too, have gotten so used to typing that my handwriting is frightful!

    However, what I miss most about notebooks and pens is the RED pen used for editing! Ah I love the power of a red pen!
    PS. I really enjoyed this entry!