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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Laptops vs Pen & Paper

After yesterday's COMPLETE and UTTER butt-kicking, I'm extra motivated to beat Janet in today's brawl.  Our This vs. That battle topic today is laptop vs. pen & paper. 

Read my arguments and then hop over to her blog to see if she presented a more convincing case.

Be SURE you come back tomorrow because we're playing BLACKJACK! I've got lots of little prizes to give away and if you happen to get 21, you'll get a bunch of entries into the grand prize drawing of your choice.  Even if you bust, we'll give you another entry.  Also, Janet is posting Sarah LaPolla's interview tomorrow, so you'll want to check that out...she could be critiquing YOUR first ten pages soon!

Okay, without further's what I have to say about writing tools:

To be perfectly honest, I love pen and paper.  I didn't get a computer until I was in my late 20's, so I spent a lot of time with pen and paper. Lots of warm and fuzzy feelings there.  But you cannot deny the versatility and power of a laptop.  It holds thousands of pages of your writing without any additional weight.  It's search features help you find passages in seconds, and typing is so much faster than writing long hand.  But there are some lesser known advantages I'd like to share with you.

The writer sitting at a laptop looks so much cooler and more professional than the one who is scribbling her ideas onto notebook paper.  And that, my friends, translates into confidence.  The confident writer is soooo much more likely to conquer the literary world. 

Once you publish, you can start writing off some of your expenses.  And it doesn't take a rocket scientist (or tax accountant) to figure out that a laptop is a MUCH better write off than notebook and pen.


Some writers get a little paranoid protective of their ideas.  I'm not saying it's not warranted.  Who wants to have the next billion dollar idea only to have some $#@& come along and steal the idea? Nobody, that's who.  So, if you keep your manuscript on a laptop, you can encrypt the computer AND password protect your files.  If you write with pen and paper the best you can do is hide your manuscript under your mattress...but after you get a couple hundred pages cranked out you'll have to come up with a better hiding place or learn to sleep on a lumpy bed.

Your paper manuscript can rip, burn, blow away, or get reduced to pulp if you spill your Diet Coke on it.  Can you rip your laptop?  I don't think so.

While carpal tunnel has been known to happen on some hard-core typists using poor form, injury is so much more likely if you're trying to write 80,000 words manually.  Your hand will cramp up before your done.  And then do you know what will happen?  Eventually the cramps won't go away and your hand will be permanently disfigured and so when you finally manage to scribble the last words (with your feet I might add cuz you certainly won't be able to write with your hands any more) and you go to a conference to wine and dine with those big wig agents and editors, you're not going to be able to shake hands with any of them.  And there goes that million dollar advance. I ask you, are you willing to risk it?

A laptop makes a much better night light than a pad of paper ever will.  PLUS, you can write in the dark much more efficiently on a laptop than you can with paper.  You know you can't see where the lines are so your brilliant prose is gonna run together and the next morning when you try to read it, you won't be able to decipher it and all that work will be lost.

So...go to Janet's blog and tell her you vote for LAPTOPS.  It's okay, you know you want to. 

Rules Refresher: (ahem, the fine print)
1. You must be a follower of both blogs
2. When you comment, let us know if you want
    a.  Grand Prize #1 - 10-page critique by Sarah LaPolla (YA or Adult work) or
    b.  Grand Prize #2 - A Prize-filled Gift Basket including a $40 Amazon gift card
3. You can earn 5 bonus entries by spreading the word (twitter, blogs, facebook, sidebar)
4. This is open internationally! Woo hoo!
5. Contest Closes Saturday 2 April at midnight EST. All winners will be announced Monday, 4 April


Bethany Elizabeth said...

Yeah, practically, I think laptops are better. But honestly, I prefer a mix of both. Some of the first draft stuff on paper, but editing? Most DEF on a laptop!

Jolene Perry said...

HA! I thought your question was a joke. My fingers can't use a pen nearly fast enough for my brain - that's madness!!

Oh, and if I haven't said it enough times - totally need Sarah LaPolla to read my stuff.

AllMyPosts said...

Laptops are really easy to handle with!! Books can't play music while you write!! Ha Ha!!

And editing is really really easy with Lappy's ... Ha Ha !!

Well, about the contest!! I prefer GRAND PRIZE #2 for myself!!

with warm regards

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'm a fan of both.

Justine Dell said...

Ahhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm so torn!!! You both had excellent reasonings!

But I must side with you, dear Vicki. Typing is better than writing. It's faster, and it doesn't give me cramps!


Janet Johnson said...

Yikes, you're pulling out the big guns! I think you just gave me a black eye. ;)

Clarissa Draper said...

Janet makes a better argument for pen and paper, however, for me, the laptop would win because: no agent, publisher, editor or test reader will read your pen and paper novel. So in the end, your book will be written on a laptop/desktop.

Lenny Lee* said...

hi miss vicki! since i learned how to type and use a computer its way more easy writing with one. i still like pen and paper for notes and ideas but for more long stuff the computers the best. so today you got my vote.
...hugs from lenny

Saumya said...

Hmmm, I prefer my laptop for long projects and a notebook for well, notes. Haha. I do need a break from the screen though!

Colene Murphy said...

Janet's argument was good but you so won my vote on this one! Laptop, you are my love.

Lori M. Lee said...

I would have once said pen and paper, but now I have to go with the laptop.

grand prize #1 would be awesome

Talli Roland said...

I'm with you! Laptops all the way. No way could I write 90,000 words with pen and paper. And what about revising?

Melissa said...

I'm voting for you today! I write so much faster with my laptop:)

Yat-Yee said...

I love writing on pen and paper but for practical reasons, laptop wins.

Christina Lee said...

HA--love the vulnerability part! Laptop FTW!!!!!!!

Nicole Zoltack said...

Even though I only have a desktop, I'm voting for laptops. I do use pen and paper from time to time, but everything else is done on the computer. I'm saving up money to buy a netbook, can't wait to get it!

Victoria Dixon said...

You make some excellent points, Vicki, but I'm a pen and paper writer all the way. Laptop is for editing and even rewriting, but you can't beat the pen and paper for shear creativity mojo. It's like I'm bleeding my story onto the page, rather than short circuiting my computer. LOL

Angela Felsted said...

Great post, Vicki.

mshatch said...

as much as I love paper I'm going to have to agree with you. lap top gets my vote.

Julie Musil said...

Yep, laptops all the way. And I have the information triple backed up like some crazy worry wart. I do keep paper and pencils scattered around the house, though. When I have an idea and need to jot it down NOW, I use *gasp* paper.

Reb's photo world said...

As much as I feel like a traitor, I am so a laptop person!!! Granted I am a Photographer not a writer (and definately NOT as artist); but still. While both sides were well argued, I HATW my handwriting, so I know what I am going to do!!!

By the way; prize #2. Again i am not a writer.

LTM said...

ahh... good points here--from the tax write off, to the writer's cramp to the night light.

I think Vicks one this one~ :D <3

Lisa Potts said...

You win this one! Of course, I guess we'll all be penning it after the zombies take over and cut the electricity.

Prize#2 for me. Thanks!

A.L. Sonnichsen said...

Okay, you make some good points, but I'm voting for poor Janet because she had a hard one to defend but she did it!

Prize numero uno, please! :)


Connie Arnold said...

You have a great post, and I love my computer, but have to vote for Janet. Guess I'm just old fashioned! Both grand prizes sound terrific, my preference would be #2.

Anonymous said...

My pick for this one is LAPTOP!

Prize pack #2