Analog vs. Electronic Writing Styles

As I talked about in my typewriter porn post, I used to love writing stories on typewriters in my grandmother’s basement when I was a kid.

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Because nothing says “normal” like a kid who hangs out in the basement all day.

I also loved writing stories on my dad’s electric typewriter:

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Actual photo of me at 20 months old.
My hairstyle today is pretty much identical to this photo.

Today, a typewriter isn’t really as good of an option for me as it used to be. Although I still love typewriters, I no longer have one at my disposal. It’s true that I could buy one, but I feel like it would be more for novelty’s sake rather than for actual daily writing.

That being said, I feel like there’s still quite a bit of debate when it comes to writing methods. Which is better, analog or digital? Should you write everything by hand or stick to a computer?

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Yelling at Siri is also an option.

Feeling Handy

I personally love writing out my work by hand. There’s something so much more engaging about physically writing the words on a piece of paper that typing just can’t duplicate. I’m a big fan of bullet journaling so I always have a notebook on hand, but I recently got a second notebook just for writing. I suppose I could always just text myself if I get an idea, but I’m 100 years old so I don’t text very quickly.

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Pictured: me

The downside, of course, is that writing things out by hand isn’t nearly as fast as typing. I might not text quickly, but I type 90 words per minute so if I hit a writing groove, I can make a lot more progress on the computer than I can on paper. Plus, I’m notorious for misplacing everything.

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Living in the Digital Age

As I mentioned earlier, I can write SO MUCH FASTER if I type. Editing is also massively easier when it’s digital. Sometimes I need to move an entire paragraph (or more) and cutting and pasting is much simpler than drawing a lot of complicated arrows and writing notes to myself that I won’t be able to decipher later.

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Speaking of which, my handwriting is complete garbage. I can (usually) read it, but it’s a weird hybrid of printing, cursive, and ancient hieroglyphics. Typing my work erases the need for a Rosetta stone AND it spellchecks as I go. It’s a win-win.

Which is Better?

Honestly . . . I like both. It kind of depends on my mood, but I often switch back and forth between the two. I like writing longer projects on my computer, but poems and short nonfiction pieces are better by hand. Alternately, I like to write out my work by hand and then type it up later, using that method as my first round of editing.

At the end of the day, there really isn’t one method that’s better than the other. It all comes down to what you prefer. And if you want to yell at your phone’s text to type function or use a typewriter, who am I to judge?

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I will judge you for this though, because you’re in public and typewriters are loud. Be considerate.

Which method do you prefer? Let me know in the comments!


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Emily Regan is the author of several books, including "What's an Adult?: No One Knows Anything and We're All Going to Die." She is an avid fan of reality TV, an unironic Hanson fan, and currently resides in Arizona with her family.

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