Which is better: Paper or Word Processor?

Writing a novel needs paper and pencil. But is a computer best?

Gilbert Corliss


Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Suppose I write this article in longhand. When writing about process, I keep going back to this. Why would it be different writing a longhand document, than writing one on a computer? I think I need to break away from the computer. I feel overwhelmed by the computer’s penchant to brutalize me with its constant barrage of information, opinion, news, and stupidity masquerading as science.

Longhand is freedom

When I sit at my desk that does not support a computer, I feel free, released from its torment, and I am able to internalize and write within my virtual reality.

It is a peaceful place not subject to the external stimuli of the world, but rather it is a world I can inhabit on my own terms. I am the god of my created world, and I don’t need to follow any rules that I don’t create and that are not required for my virtual world to exist and make sense.

The Problem with Computers

Despite the organizational power of the computer, or the brilliant author programs like Scrivener, my favorite, I simply cannot write a rough draft there. What should be easy, functionally, to accomplish on such an editable platform becomes an intimidation, freezing all creativity.

I can’t even begin to write.

The blank screen becomes a stone edifice into which I must carve my words, as if this rendition is the only one, my only chance to get it right.

No amount of logic can free me from that untruth, and I sit frozen in time until I give up and open Facebook for a few hours.


Hours of memes. Hours of sharing memes. Hours of scrolling, watching videos of nonsense, or videos of musicians displaying their art.

Sharing that art because, obviously, if I don’t, all my Facebook friends will never get to marvel at these things.

One hour passes. Two. Three. My head is hanging, chin pressed against my chest, eyes burning and heavy.

2 AM arrives and my scrolling finger is aching, and the images and words are…



Gilbert Corliss

Novelist, self-studied in many sciences, theology, music, and art.