Slice of Life /29 Pen or Keyboard


It is an old debate now – one the young folks must just roll their eyes at but every so often I struggle with it. It just never really gets settled in my brain. I also know it does not have to be one or the other but I feel like I am standing on top of a fence and balancing is harder each year.

This is a debate I have often do I use paper and pen to write or the keyboard/computer.  (I am old enough to think of the key board as part of a typewriter, which I hated by the way. This is another story for another day.)download-1

I use both right now.  I have developed a system of using each for different tasks. Each medium is a wonder to be hold for me. I like both but…

My personal journal and my garden notebook are always done by hand. They are real notebooks and pens. My garden notebooks are always graph paper with a plastic cover since they go outside with me. I like the flexibility of paper when working with plants outside and around water, or when I need to create a small and simple chart for tracking my seeds. The personal journal is a black lined composition notebook. It is small and carries well when traveling or writing outside in the sun. It takes about a year to fill one notebook with 200 pages. I don’t write a lot in my personal journal – although I must say that is changing with age.

The computer is what I use for blogging – somehow I find ideas hidden in my head when I open my blog to start a new post. I get stuck when trying to write a blog post by hand (odd I know). The computer is also where I write stories, my children’s books or small novels. Of course, the computer is the place for communication – e-mails, social media and for me reading on my I-pad.

It all seems well thought out and organized – each items has its own purpose and use. So why the big deal?

I can’t tell you why – it is just some mornings I wake up thinking I need to change the whole process. It is usually when my fingers are sore and they refuse to bend like they did when I was younger. It is then that I think  – ok now is the time – everything needs to be on the computer. Just make it all digital!

But something pulls me back each time.

This morning I sit, with the sun pouring in through the deck doors, a paper journal to my side and my computer on my lap, my phone and i-pad next to my tea cup. Geez – it seems like over kill here. Do I need all this stuff?  Do I make the change now – do I move to all digital? Why am I reluctant to move my personal writing into this digital platform?

Why do I struggle to put my garden journal on line? I have several “notebooks”on my computer for my garden already. It would work well to have pages to tab between for the garden budget, the planting chart and the written reflections. I write most of my garden notes at night after a day or working anyway – very few notes are written out in the field/garden.

So what is the big deal!

I can’t tell you – I just get into these artist funks every now and then.

  • Do I keep writing or quit?
  • Do I use paper or computer?
  • Is it clutter or creative material? (see yesterdays post)
  • Am I creative or just messing around?
  • Is messing around creative?

Do you ever find yourself going in circles about things like this?

Do you prefer computers to paper?

(Truth be told I didn’t sleep well last night, I got up before the sun and the caffeine in my tea is not working. This angst could just be a product of lack of sleep. Maybe I should just go take a nap and it will all settle its self.)


About Joanne Toft

I am a retired Minneapolis Public School teacher. I walk, garden, care for my Grandson and write. Life is good!
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Slice of Life /29 Pen or Keyboard

  1. I understand your dilemma, sometimes I just like to write by hand, sometimes it depends on my mood. I am old enough to have learned to type on a manual typewriter, so I think computers are brilliantly easy by comparison, but sometimes the flow is better if you write by hand. I think handwritten cards are so much nicer than an email….
    Your slice raises lots of interesting points, not sure if it’s just a matter of opinion?

  2. TammyB says:

    Depending on what I am writing I use both. Sometimes I like to write with a regular pen and sometimes I like my fountain pen. If I have something I want to get out quickly I usually type. I have been using my voice to text function on my phone if I need to write while I am driving or running! Writing by hand uses a different part of the brain and allows some different thought patterns for me.

  3. Trina Haase says:

    I use both but I prefer paper to pen. I personally like Flair pens. Writing by hand gives me a different kind of feeling than with the computer. I usually almost always start out by hand…

  4. arjeha says:

    There is something about putting pen to paper and forming letters and words. I sometimes that those of us who do write, and especially in cursive, can pass secret notes that the younger generation will not be able to read.

  5. I use both but like going back to an old journal and seeing my handwriting, reading what was happening, etc. I don’t do that on a computer. Sometimes I’ll print what I’ve written on a computer, just because.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s