Books & Review
Updated: Feb 28, 2020 05:13 PM EST


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Technology continues to play a role in how a writer's tools and equipment are changing. One only has to think of a typewriter versus the modern-day computer to put things into perspective. From improvements in the quality of the paper to different types of pens, writers have always been spoilt for choice.

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Here are some of the ways a writer's world is full of choice and packed with history.

Types of Pens

Long before word processors were ever invented, dedicated writers sat with paper and pen. The fountain pen, more specifically. Quills and reeds were used as pens, but the writer needed to dip the pen into the inkwell regularly.

Later on, fountain pens were invented with their self-contained ink. Although these pens were initially used as regular pens, they, later on, became a symbol of a person's status.

Then came a plethora of pens as we know them today. Ballpoint pens and mechanical pencils feature in most people's stationery drawers, both at home and in the office.

More artistic pens, like the calligraphy pens, required a certain level of skill to write with. Beautiful hand-written invitations carried a more personal touch in years gone by. Knowing that an individual had taken the time and care to write each invite added meaning and a personal element.


In ancient times, writers made use of papyrus. As time progressed, parchment was used until paper we now know was eventually introduced. More creative individuals thought outside of the box and even resorted to writing on pottery or animal hides.

Typewriters Versus Computers

Modern-day computers are multi-functional devices. The typewriter didn't allow for additional features. A typewriter could accept a sheet of paper, and the user could type until the end of the page was reached.

Computers today are powerful tools that most people can't live without. You can search the internet for almost any kind of information, or you can use social media to communicate with people from all corners of the globe.

Do Modern-Day Writers Still Hand-Write Manuscripts?

Writing experts argue that a keyboard and a pen focus on different cognitive processes. The art of writing takes time to perfect; learning to hold a pen correctly and writing in a legible manner doesn't come easily to everyone.

These same experts state that operating a keyboard is comfortable. It's just a matter of pressing the right key. They claim that there's no thought process behind typing on a keyboard.

So why do some writers use a computer to type up their manuscript, while others choose to hand-write the entire document?

The Ability to Switch Off

Many modern-day writers feel that computers create a distracting environment. Emails constantly interrupt the writing experience, while at times, technical issues call for the device to reboot.

A notepad never needs to be recharged; you can use it anywhere at any time. It'll never let you down.

When you can get away from electronic devices and disconnect entirely from the outside world, you can put your heart and soul into your writing.

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Typing on a computer often causes an individual to type faster than they think. This translates to sloppy writing at times. When a writer takes the time to write by hand, they become more conscious of their style and put more effort into the process.

More Cost-Effective

From a financial view, the cost of a notepad is a lot friendlier on your budget than the latest laptop or desktop PC.

Another benefit of hand-writing is that when you do eventually type the word-processed file, you can make the changes needed along the way.


Like most things in life, there are pros and cons to new and old ways of doing things. Advances in technology and changes in the way things get done might work to your advantage, and at times, they might not.

Each writer carries a unique style. What works for one person might not be suitable for another.

Being able to put pen to paper or fingers to the keyboard is a precious gift. They should be enjoyed and nurtured for the whole world to share.

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