Paper or Plastic?

I’ll bet it has been a while since anyone has asked you that question but I’m asking you today and I’m not talking about grocery bags. Does anyone out there still use paper to write on? You know…notebooks, stationery, journals…ground up trees? Don’t look at me like that! Surely some of you remember what pens and pencils are. πŸ˜‰ In this age of computers, tablets and smart phones, I know that a lot of you probably don’t write this way or maybe you used to but don’t anymore. I cannot help myself though.

I thought back several years ago that as soon as I got a computer, I would do all my writing on it…maybe even write that novel if I got a laptop someday. I figured I could get above writing everything in notebooks and on scraps of paper. I thought I would like typing so much more than the arduous task of handwriting. I’ve had many computers since, have a laptop, a netbook and a Nook tablet now and I still haven’t wrote that novel, (although I have a part of one in a spiral-bound notebook). I have not transferred even a percent of my writing that were lost in my paper files, that I thought deserved some space on my hard drive. Almost every one of my posts here in blogger world will have originated in my leatherjournal, written in unforgiving ink. Ideas are born, scratched out, rewritten in a sloppy hand you would likely not decipher. Pen to paper is how I think, it is how I create.I still write letters to people and will send you a real card with a personal note scribed inside, sometimes in gold or silver pen. I mean would you rather get that or an e-card?

I have loved writing products for as long as I can remember. My first love was big 3 and 5 subject ringed notebooks…all that blank world inside for me to create! I would decorate the covers with images of things I loved. All manner of decorated and undecorated #2 pencils. Nothing was cooler in elementary school than putting a point on a brand new pencil. Pens in a rainbow of colors, sizes and shapes. Forays into colored pencils and fine point markers. I even liked those horrid yellow lined tablets the schools used to pass out. Composition notebooks, steno pads, filler paper in a three ring binder. Then I discovered finer notebooks and endless designs in stationery. Elegant leather-bound journals with cream colored, textured papers. Antique fountain pens aged to a warm patina from years of channeling the owners’ imagination. My local Barnes & Noble brick and mortar store carries some stunning leather journals and blank books as well as a pretty good selection of other writing supplies. I prefer real books over e-books any day and can hang out in a book store for hours just like I used to do in libraries. I do admit to reading some books on my Nook but am more likely to choose from the 4 or 5 I’m reading that I keep stacked on the night stand. Nothing beats the smell of a book and the feel of physically turning a paper page just as writing on paper is where it is for me. I don’t like typing all that well although I’m pretty good at it, lol. I don’t care for thumb typing and even though I do a lot of it, I would never write anything of any length that way.

I’m just computer geek enough to like the way my words look on websites…formatted, neat, professional. You know you are proud to see your words on the internet or you wouldn’t put them there for the world to see. And it doesn’t matter if you have a lot of writing talent here in blog world. I’m usually pretty good at spelling but know I butcher syntax and punctuation and I don’t care. I think I get my point across even if I’m breaking the rules. You can add pictures, videos and emoticons and that is all good, I take advantage of it. But when inspiration hits, I grab the pen and paper first and the laptop last for final touches on the final draft. Maybe one day a future archeologist will discover one of my notebooks or a letter with my words, in turn wise, foolish, embarrassing and weird and hopefully, find one writer’s perspective entertaining if not entirely valuable.

1st draft of this post

Published by Jazzi Ryan Ranes

Disseminator of anomalous information. Curator of Letters, Word Maker, Poet, Freethinker.

10 thoughts on “Paper or Plastic?

  1. I love this topic. I used to tell myself that I’d get my novel written as soon as I had my own computer. Then I realized if I was going to write it, it didn’t matter what it was written on. I have several notebooks filled with scenes that I wrote as I thought of them, but now I’m typing them up on this laptop, and editing. Yet, no matter how much I love writing on a laptop (my wrist gets tired after too much writing by hand), I still adore office supplies with all my heart <3. Notebooks have endlessly wonderful covers, and I buy pens like they're candy. I believe that there will be situations enough for both paper and plastic for at least a few more generations.


    1. I think you are right, there will always be a time for the hand written word…but it is scary how many book stores are going out of business or suffering since the influx of e-readers. I do believe one day I will get that novel onto the laptop…if I can find some extra time, lol. πŸ™‚


  2. I mostly write on my computer, but carry around a moleskin for jotting down ideas on the go (I think it’s quicker than using my iphone). In the plotting and planning stage, I like to use pencil and paper, but once I’ve got a general idea of where i’m going I switch to typing.

    I do, however, much prefer sending handwritten cards and letters through the post, and do so often.


    1. I have not had the pleasure of owning a moleskin notebook, but the B&N down here has some nice ones…now you got me wanting one!


  3. I hope you can! Even a few words a day is worth it :D. You’re completely right. I used to work at a Waldenbooks, one that I’d shopped at since I was a wee little thing, and when it closed I was devastated. I have more books than I have shelves, which is kind of annoying but also wonderful. Yet I still want a Kindle.


    1. Waldenbooks was a favorite of mine as was Borders…I was a wee thing too and loved all the gorgeous books. Know whatcha mean about more books than places to put them, lol…I have to be picky about the ones I get now. I recommend the NOOK Color Tablet, it is not just a great e-reader but also fast and versatile on the internet and there are tons of apps and more every day. If you get one of these, download the Dolphin Browser HD and you’ll have a tablet with even more options.


    1. Thank you Patrick! The worse thing for me is e-books are putting real books out of business 😦 and what will future generations find when they pick up a excavated e-reader with a dead battery and no charger? lol…laughable.


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