Tech Tips for Writers is an occasional post on overcoming Tech Dread. I’ll cover issues that friends, both real-time and virtual, have shared. Feel free to post a comment about a question you have. I’ll cover it in a future Tip.
Q: Why should I give up paper and pencil?
A: Lots of reasons!
- Digital writing is easier to edit. By a factor of infinity. Anyone who has tried to erase, smudge notes, tear the paper, knows that the digital version of editing with a simple insert or replace is miles ahead. Why force ourselves to use a method that is so inferior?
- By middle school, with even a modicum of keyboard training, most of us type faster than we handwrite. The average person handwrites between 25-35 wpm. It doesn’t take much practice to exceed that with typing. By fourth grade, my students typed as fast as they handwrote and by fifth grade, often exceeded it.
- Typing is a natural choice when typing while thinking, like planning/writing a story. Surprisingly, while processing in the brain is faster than any computer, thinking isn’t. We get distracted, pull ideas from memory. No one’s really measured that but experience (as a teacher) tells me it’s about 35 wpm. Now, you definitely have to be a touch typist (no need to look at your hands while typing) for this to be true, but if you are, your fingers move in sync with your brain. Compare this to handwriting where you must focus on the page, stay in a straight line, go to a new line. It’s much more complicated!
One more: It’s much easier to share digital writing.
For an alternate opinion, check out this Lifehack infographic.
More on digital writing:
Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, and the thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for TeachHUB, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. You can find her books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning.