I’ve commented in the past that, for me, a “distraction free writing environment” involves actual pen and paper. It seems that I’m not alone in this. I’ve read many studies which show that the brain processes things differently when handwriting than typing. I think the unitasking nature of pens combined with an inherently slower speed forces more thoughtful writing–be it in composition or note taking.
A new blog, The Cramped, celebrates folks who write with analog tools. It’s less tool-centric, unlike other pen blogs (which feature pen, ink, and paper reviews). rather, it looks at how paper is integrated into workflows and how it affects the creative process.
(I use “creative” quite broadly. As expected, a painting, poem, or story is a creative pursuit. However, any form of writing qualifies. Synthesizing data into a report, paper, or argument certainly qualifies as creative. It is simply more functional than philosophical or aesthetic.)
Reading the posts, I’ve become inspired. I’m creating a new category for this blog, “paper draft first.” This will be for posts where the first draft is on paper. I already do this informally–my journal is, and will continue to be, the place where the first seeds of some ideas are planted into the world. However, I’ll also start to write them out into something more closely resembling the final form.
Beyond simply being another excuse to use my pens, I want to see if this improves the quality o the longer written posts. There will still be plenty of posts–especially photo-heavy ones–that will be digital only. IN fact, I expect there to be revisions between the paper and the final post. This is a draft after all. After a time of this process, I’ll post follow-ups, to share thoughts on this method.