REAY JESPERSEN:
WRITER OF, AND DABBLER IN,
MANY THINGS

Digital vs Physical note-writing benefits

I had an impromptu debate in my head while I was showering this morning on whether it’s better to store writing ideas and work digitally or physically.

I tend to do the former. While full writing on a phone is far from ideal—I’m pretty quick on a full, or even consed, keyboard, but the small virtual keyboard on phones isn’t great—I find it’s usually the fastest way to get ideas or chunks of writing down. I have a notebook and some pens that I carry around in my well-worn courier bag, and I do use them quite a bit, but by it’s nature, that’s a more involved and time-consuming process. But there are other pros and cons for each, of course…

Digital con: If your phone breaks, you’re not going to get your hands on that writing, at least for a while and perhaps forever. I’m not a big cloud guy, but after getting burned on missing a short story contest deadline because I wasn’t able to get to my laptop (where it was saved only locally), I’m appreciating the benefits these days of being able to access what I’d like to have available wherever I happen to be. But even if you’re using a cloud service and your phone breaks, that writing is gone until you can fix or replace the phone or somehow access it online by other means.

Paper con: Everything’s gone if it ever gets wet or the notebook is lost. I’ve gotten by this particular concern by taking photos of pages. Again, though: Advantage digital.

Digital con: It needs power. I’m lucky enough to be in a society where that’s not a particular concern, since I can literally charge my phone at home, en route to wherever I’m going, and then there once I arrive. But should the power fail for any length of time (or forever, in the case of some apocalyptic scenario), charging a phone or device will be an issue. Of course, there’s a solid argument to be made that if zombies become a real problem or most of the world’s population has been wiped out for myriad other reasons (I’m a writer, you think I don’t consider these things?), me not being able to access my writing will be pretty low on the list of priorities. But having said that…

Paper con: If there’s some apocalypse, paper and writing implements will be in shorter and shorter supply, as well. And then there’s the sheer bulk and weight of trying to hang onto it that would become a logistical problem…

The more I think about it, this strikes me as less a discussion to have in my head in the shower and more something to discuss over drinks with friends.

It's, it's, a posting blitz!

Little scams