Old School vs. New School

It’s still summer, yet retailers are prepping for back-to-school. For me, it feels different because this will be the first time I will be school shopping. (My daughter starts kindergarten in a few weeks.) It’s still one of my favorite times of the year because I can get certain supplies at a discounted price, like pens and notebooks. 

I read and commented on the debate between old school and new school writing. Many writers adopted writing with smartphones, tablets, and the like. Apps like Evernote and Google Docs make note taking and letter writing easier and more convenient. Computer programs like Scrivener give the writer a way to organize their story notes while writing their “great novel.”

Still, there are writers who use the old school method of writing with paper and pen. They have notebooks full of free write sessions and scenes of stories that may or may not have been used. In the margins, there are probably notes or doodles or whatever. They may have a stack of notebooks and journals they are unwilling to throw away. (I’ll cover that in another post.)

I admit that I adopted to the new school way of writing. I have a journaling app on my phone called One Day to write random stuff. I can write scenes of stories and email them to people. I use Evernote for note taking. (Even now, I’m using my phone to write this post.) But as much as I am “connected” in terms of writing, there’s a part of me that yearns to go back to old school writing. Recently, I handwrote a scene from a short story. I felt a connection that can’t be replicated on a laptop or a smartphone.

So while having this tech is beneficial and a necessity in some ways, there’s no reason to completely abandon old school writing. I believe writers can use both methods to improve their writing and enrich the writing process. 

What about you? Do you still write with paper and pen? Or do you use tech to write? Or have you incorporated both?

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Author: G. R. McNeese

I'm originally from Illinois, currently residing in Georgia. I graduated from Georgia State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Creative Writing. I am blessed with a supportive wife and family.

4 thoughts on “Old School vs. New School”

  1. I love being able to write and edit on computer. In the old days when I first started writing, that wasn’t even an option–and I was such a bad typist that I’d have to type every page multiple times to get it good enough to submit! But sometimes I just want to get things down in a format I don’t have to scroll through. And sometimes my fast thinking transfers quicker in scrawl than in keystrokes–I don’t know why.

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  2. George, like you, I’ve adapted to the “new school” of writing but long to go back to paper and pen. My problem is my penmanship has gotten so raunchy. Way back when I was in school, I learned how to type on a typewriter. I liked the sound I could make with each letter. Each one told me I was making progress. I figure that’s one of the main reasons I stick with the keyboard at my PC.

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  3. I’m mostly “new school.” I use Microsoft Word for pretty much all of my writing. I haven’t graduated to Scrivener yet, so I guess I’m not new-new school. I do like the tactile experience of handwriting, though, and I often take notes or journal in a notebook just for the feel of writing.

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