Posted in Tips for Young Writers

Planning on Paper, or on the Computer

When it comes to planning your writing there’s many different ways to go about it but all of them require you to make some sort of visual record and, unless I’m missing something, there’s only two ways to do that – you either go old school and write it down on paper or you get techy and use some sort of app (when I was young we called them programs. Why the change?).

Obviously, there are pros and cons to both methods.

Pen and Paper

Pro:

  • It’s immediate
  • You don’t need to subscribe to anything or buy any extra apps
  • Paper and writing tools are affordable
  • It’s portable
  • You get to buy pretty looking notebooks and nice pens

Con:

  • Paper comes from trees
  • Written notes are difficult to organise and take up room
  • Written notes are easy to misplace
  • You can just delete something and start again
  • You can’t just copy and paste

Digital

Pro:

  • Everything is in one place
  • Easy to organise, hard to lose
  • Fairly intuitive – most people are tech literate now
  • Easy to share information with others
  • Time saving

Cons:

  • Extra apps can be expensive
  • Laptops can be heavy and awkward to cart around
  • You’re at the mercy of your WiFi connection
  • No pretty notebooks or nice pens needed

For me there’s something about putting pen to paper that helps things flow. It feels more intuitive. Perhaps that has a lot to do with my age – I didn’t have my first mobile until I was 18 because no body really had mobiles – or perhaps it’s just to do with how I think. I like that physical connection. That said, I’m a slob and I’m always losing my notes. And every time I want to switch things up, I need to rewrite everything.

How you plan your work (even whether or not you plan your work) is very personal and can change depending on the project your working on. I will say though, if you know what works for your, there’s no point trying to force yourself to work differently. That means that while I love trees, I still have to be one of their biggest enemies. And for that, I’m sorry.