Writing On-screen or On Paper?

I used to write my books out on paper and then type them up; now I can compose directly on the computer. The thing I have noticed though, is how useful it is to print out the manuscript and review it on paper. It provides a different way to read the material and allows you to view it in a new light.

I find errors that I missed on-screen but more importantly, discover whole new sections asking to be written and included. In addition, the ability to layout the chapters or pages across my lounge room floor and get a sense of the whole writing, its order and timeline.

I used to work for Lewis & Hickey Architects in Guildford, England and the practice was converting their drawing boards into computers. One of the partners commented to me how he missed roaming the office after everyone had gone home, to browse all of the paper drawings; it gave him a sense of where all our projects were at.

For many people the printed paper product is how they will read your book; Amazon notes that 80% of book sales are paperback. Both digital and paper have their place, but review your work as a reader of books rather than a writer.

Writing on-screen is a skill that can be learned, but do what works for you.

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