I’m very much attached to The Screen. I don’t get paper books anymore, it’s all Kindle. My music? Digital. Notes go straight into Evernote and Workflowy. What started out as an attempt to minimise physical clutter has become a way of life.
The only time I tend to get the pen and paper out is for the roughest, most transitory of brainstorms and outlines. Figure it out and bin it, basically.
Until recently my approach to writing has been a digital only affair as well. Why bother with paper when I’d just be copying it all over to my laptop anyway?
But it turned out I was missing the point.
Last month I completed the (digital) first draft of my newest book. After six months of churning out words on a computer, a change of pace was required. I wanted to break free of the screen, escape the confines of the laptop, get out of the chair and away from the desk. So, I printed out the book and just got messy with it.
I crossed stuff out, sketched doodles in the margins, shuffled pages around, scribbled random thoughts down, drew lines and arrows everywhere. Basically, all the stuff that would have been hard or impossible to do in the confines of a laptop screen.
It was precisely what I needed at that stage in the book’s development.