July 23, 2009

The Benefits of the Spiral Notebook

Writing longhand (much less in a notebook) is not nearly as popular as it used to be, and this is no mystery. Computers have made the job of writing much easier with a faster word rate, spell check, thesauri, ease of editing, etc.

But there are many benefits to writing in longhand that are overlooked, as the method seems out of date. I have recently found a personal preference for the notebook over the notebook computer because of the ease of transportation and because it give me less excuses to avoid writing.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Less Excuses to Avoid Writing (and other benefits)
1)Easier to start, and stop- Just the flip the spiral notebook open and go; no logging in, saving, putting it on standby when you leave. The notebook is ever-ready for you to pick it up, and set it down. Piece of cake.

2)Notes in margins- No need to open new documents or get separate sheets of paper for items such as ideas, outlines, notes for the future, maps, drawings, things to edit, because the margins provide room for all of this. If they do not, then you can always skip a page and use it as space for you miscellaneous needs. Better organization and no breaks in your writing to stop and make a document, or stop and get a piece of paper.

3)No more scratch paper- Making a name, doing a bit of math, reminding yourself of things you need to do? Scribble it in the notebook. As mentioned above there's ample space in the notebook, and no need to set down or leave your writing to do whatever you must.

4)An opportunity to edit- If you plan on submitting your work for publication, showing to friends, or just printing a copy, you're going to need to type it up. This gives you the chance to proofread, subtract, and add to what you've written. With this in mind, and because of the fact you'll run out of room to edit eventually you're forced to focus on
writing, instead of the constant: edit-write some more-stop-edit-write.

5) Form words as you write- Because writing longhand is slower, you theoretically have more time to form better sentences, and a more fluid continuous (not having to stop and think) writing motion.

6)Easier to take with you places-Reasons for this discussed in "Ease of Transportation" below.

Ease of Transportation
1)Weight- Even the smallest of laptops weigh 2-3 pounds, while the average notebook weighs ounces.

2)Size- Much thinner and easily stored than 95% of laptops (estimated-in other words, completely guessed-figure).

3)Power- "Oh no! I forgot to recharge my spiral notebook!" Uh-uh, doesn't happen. Your writing time is never cut short (except for maybe the need of a new writing utensil-which is rare) and there's no need to hassle over power cords.

4)The Conspicuous factor- The student in the classroom can not whip out his laptop and start writing when there's a lull in the classwork, theater go-er's ca not power up their computer before the show, it's considered rude to bring a computer to places like church, or the dinner table, or a restaurant. With the spiral notebook there's no LED light, it takes up less space, it doesn't make noises, it's easier to pull out
and to put away, and people are less inclined to bug you with the "Why do you have your laptop?"

5)Less likely to get stolen- $700 laptop or 50 cent notebook? This isn't a tough choice for a thief. With a notebook you do not have to worry about it getting stolen because, hey, who wants a bunch of paper? And you will never have to incur monetary loss, unless of course you have a completed novel between the covers.

Though I still use the computer for writing, I find it much more convenient and easier to get into the daily writing habit with a spiral notebook. But to each his own.

-Average (wide ruled) handwritten page: 200 words
-Average time to type (wide ruled) handwritten page: 15 minutes

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