I was going to say a ‘blank piece of paper’ but then I realized that I never write my stories on paper any more. I write thank you notes, sign my name to birthday cards, write to-do lists and do crosswords (in pencil, not pen because I’m not that arrogant!) – but I don’t write my stories on paper.
So what is the difference? Well for one thing, instead of looking down at blank piece of paper, holding my head in my hands and shaking with frustration – I now just get to stare, slack-jawed at a screen and if I get really frustrated – I switch over the internet to read some mindless babble about celebrities. I think the pain ratio is the same, just the outcome is different.
Another difference is that I can’t crumple up the computer when I get angry at my lack of words – at least not without costing me a lot of money – crumpled paper about 2 cents and possible some angry environmentalists – crumpled computer about $2000 and a very happy salesman!
Another thing I miss about paper? The ability to doodle while I’m pretending to think. I’ve tried doodling on my computer – but it’s hard to get the crayon off the screen.
You also can’t make a paper airplane out of your computer – well, I guess you could but then you would have to face that happy salesman again.
What I don’t miss? I don’t miss erasing so hard that I tear the paper. I don’t miss trying to find a pencil sharp enough or even a pencil sharpener (again – like with crossword puzzles, I’m not arrogant enough to think I won’t have to erase my words). I don’t miss writer’s cramp in my hand – I still get it in my brain, but at least I can still open a can of soda after writing on the computer for a long period of time.
The best part of writing on a computer – I can actually empty the trash without leaving my house – and I haven’t killed off an entire forest in Brazil to get one paragraph or even one sentence written!