I blogged recently about how useful I find using a traditional pen and paper notepad. In my case it’s more a case of jotting down ideas and brainstorming when out and about, rather than for writing any type of extended drafts.
I’ve just been listening to an interview on Radio 4 with Neil Gaiman, who is one of my favourite writers. And even though he is highly technical in terms of using a MacBook Air, and active on social media such as Twitter and Facebook, he still prefers to write his first drafts in a pen and paper notepad. He says that he was finding that when he wrote directly on the computer his words had a tendency to bloat, whereas when he writes in a notepad it is better quality writing. And it also prevents him from getting distracted while writing, for example ending up buying something unneeded on eBay.
I know that many other writers still use traditional notepads in this way, but it was really interesting to hear some of the reasoning and thoughts behind this process. Of course my own writing is somewhat different: not fiction, but non-fiction, which leads to different structures, and a somewhat different writing process. But I still found it an interesting insight.