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  • Writer's pictureSteve Gamel

Using Pen and Paper Works: An Excerpt From Write Like You Mean It

Steve Gamel's new book, Write Like You Mean It: Mastering Your Passion for the Written Word
Photo credit: Brown Books Publishing Group

There are so many writing tools at our fingertips right now that it's easy to forget what inspired us to get ideas out of our heads in the first place: good old-fashioned pen and paper.

I had this conversation a few days ago with a lady named Michelle. She, too, is an avid writer and self-proclaimed grammar nerd. And while sharing stories about how we each developed a passion for what we do, she asked how I prefer to start the writing process.

"Do you go straight to your laptop?"

"Do you start with a pen and paper?"

Before I could answer, she admitted that she often grabs a legal pad and pen before starting her writing projects. And, of course, this was music to my ears!

While I don't use a pen and paper for everything, I still rely significantly on this old-fashioned process. For me, writing by hand often makes the writing process easier. I can write down entire articles or just collect my thoughts, jot down an outline for what I intend to write on my laptop, and even do a little freewriting without worrying about typos or missing commas.

I believe in pen and paper so much that I devoted an entire chapter to it in my book, Write Like You Mean It: Mastering Your Passion For The Written Word.

Here's a brief excerpt:

What did we do before there were computers and smartphones? We wrote everything down. For the older crowd out there, just think about all those spiral notebooks your parents had to buy for you just to get you through half a school year. I love technology, but writing things down forces us to use more of our brain. Writing things down with a pen and paper also improves learning comprehension versus typing it out. It's also very calming. Surround yourself with notebooks, notepads, sticky notes, and pens and pencils. Keep them on your desk and in your computer bag. You will begin to naturally train your mind to think about writing things down first. Surround yourself with the right tools, and you'll rely on them more often than you think.

No one is suggesting that you ditch the laptop completely and turn a blind eye to all the amazing tools we have at our fingertips. What I am saying is that using a pen and paper first may just be the catalyst you need to get all of those great ideas out of your head.

So give it a try!

How can you get your hands on Write Like You Mean It?

This book is for writers of all experience levels, genres, and professional pursuits. Whether you’re a journalist, college writer, aspiring freelancer, or future novelist, this book is for you, so you too can Write Like You Mean It!

Get your copy:

Thank you for reading!

*STEVE GAMEL is the President & Owner of Edit This, a writing and editing services company located in Denton, TX, and the author of Write Like You Mean It: Mastering Your Passion For The Written Word. Steve handles anything involving the written word. Give him a call today to help give your business a clear voice.

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