What is the preferred method for writing? For me, I like to mix it up. Mostly it depends on the task.
Paper is great for me to journal morning pages, thank you notes, letters, to take notes, and making mind maps.
- Morning pages by Julia Cameron's decree need to be written in longhand on paper. You use different parts of your brain when writing it out as opposed to typing, so it makes sense.
- Thank you cards are a thoughtful touch for saying genuine thanks. It really stands out because so many don't make the effort any more. An email is not the same. Who isn't excited to receive mail that isn't a bill? This works great for baby shower gifts, wedding gifts, job interviews (thanks for the opportunity and time), get well wishes, and so much more.
- Personal letters are a rarity anymore. I love to write and receive these. It is a personal touch, and again an email is not the same. Emails have their place, but they are a cold, stark contrast to a personal letter to someone you love or care about.
- Taking notes when listening to a class lecture, webinar, podcast, etc. helps me learn. The act of writing it out on paper helps me remember the information better.
- Mind maps are creative brain dumps to get ideas out of your head and down on paper. I prefer to use a sheet of freezer paper and some colored markers. I like to just flow and scribble everything down. This is how my books start out, as a mind map. Then I write my outline utilizing pieces from the mind map in an organized fashion.
Digital writing on the computer I use for anything I publish, like blog posts and books, as well as emails.
- Blog posts I type up in a post editor on Squarespace. It is simple, clean, and useful.
- Books I type up the rough draft in Scrivener. The more I use the software, the more I like it. I am not a fan of Word at all. When it comes time to work with an editor, I dread exporting the manuscript to Word. I do several rounds with an editor, then a final round with a separate proofreader all in Word before sending the manuscript to the formatter.
- Emails are useful for quick correspondence, business items like receipts, and anything I want a paper trail for.
This is what works for me. Everyone is different, with varying needs. Trying new ways, or switching from digital to paper, can open up some creativity and freshen things up a little. Experiment and have fun with your writing.
The picture is of my painting, "Crumpled Paper", and is Day 43 in my 100 Day Project. It was the catalyst for this blog post and the thoughts behind it. To see more paintings and the behind the scenes work in progresses, check out Marie Schaeller on Instagram.