Writing takes me twice as long as the average person. I find that I cannot write on a computer. Everything I write has to be written and then redrafted on paper before then being typed up on a computer. I wish I had the ability to just type on a computer. Is it like this for anyone else?
I prefer having a hard copy on hand as I don't trust computers much and my handwriting is easier to refer to than file number 2045 in folder X! But I tend to jot down little notes and such rather than lengthy paragraphs. I think with time, I've become rather impatient and just type it up as it comes along, particularly when deadlines approach!
I find writing on the computer difficult, but it's for disability reasons due to memory problems and losing control of my limbs. So I use a different method a lot of the time: I record what I want to write, then play it back and type it up afterwards more slowly. That way I get the ideas down before I forget them, and can continue to work even when my limbs are not co-operating. It also discourages me from starting to tweak/edit too early/much.
I have speech recognition sotware, but tend not to use it. I've trained it well, but I'm a history student, using lots of strange words and variant spellings, and I find that I have more work to do correcting the software's errors in understanding what I said than if I just slowly type it up after.
The difficulty I have, when trying to write straight on to a computer is - and forgive peculiar nature of this reason - I lose the intimacy of my thoughts and ideas with writing that come with just a pen and paper. The scribbles, the little arrows pointing to extra words and ideas to add into sentences are all lost with Microsoft Word and a bright computer screen. Not to sound terribly pretentious but it's like an artist (a really bad one in this case) trying to paint with MS Paint instead of onto a fresh canvas. I'm cheered to see that I'm not the only one (up)
It depends what it is. Sometimes I like to do paper plans by hand, I don't know why really. I used to make notes on all the papers I read by hand as well, but the problem is that I am left-handed and hold my pen in a really strange position, which makes me an incredibly slow writer, and of course I smudge everything I have just written! So I do pretty much everything on the computer now, it's just easier and much quicker for me than writing! KB
The other problem I have with the computer - and I hinted at this in my last post - is I find it very tempting to fiddle with the writing as I write, so make edits on the fly. There are all the whizz-bang effects in Word, and menus and things, and so much on the screen to distract me.
I recently downloaded an application for my Mac called WriteRoom which presents a blank screen and a flashing cursor. Nothing else. And you just write. Now this wouldn't help you Wally - sounds like the sort of thing that would drive you bonkers! - but it helped me just focus on the writing, at least when my memory is a bit better, and my arms are working better than they often are.
Notes definitely written on paper, plans ditto (especially diagrams of how things fit together) but writing text is always straight to computer and to avoid the dreaded corrupted files I save them regularly with the date and time as part of the file name and then back them up so I end up with hundreds of files but at least if anything gets lost or corrupted I can retrieve something. I love nice paper and pens (any time I need paper or a folder I end up buying lots of nice coloured pens!)though so I do do a lot of doodling when trying to relate things together.
======= Date Modified 27 May 2010 15:34:54 =======
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