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I finally broke down and bought one, my first ever. (Was I until now the only blogger to never own one?) I found I wasn’t posting as regularly as I’d like to, being stuck using my antique bedroom-bound desktop. And I prefer to write in coffee shops (usually by hand).

Anyone else out there never own one? Anyone else out there still write by hand?

  • A. D. Jameson is the author of five books, most recently I FIND YOUR LACK OF FAITH DISTURBING: STAR WARS AND THE TRIUMPH OF GEEK CULTURE and CINEMAPS: AN ATLAS OF 35 GREAT MOVIES (with artist Andrew DeGraff). Last May, he received his Ph.D. in Creative Writing from the Program for Writers at UIC.

22 thoughts on “Laptops

  1. Pretty impressive. I wish my laptop could be for convenience and that I could afford a big desktop that I’d use all the time. The size difference is amazing. At work, I’ve got one of those big ol’ Macs; I don’t even know how big it is, but I can have like four Word docs going at once and not have to change the size of anything. On my laptop, I can pretty much only have one thing open at a time, maybe two . . . if I want to see it all, normally anyway.

    Congrats. Hope you enjoy it.

  2. Just got my first laptop about 6 months ago…and I love it! I used to write by hand, too (yellow legal pads), but found that my thoughts often ran too fast for my penmanship. My typing is MUCH faster.


    1. I use yellow legal tablets, too, but mainly for sorting out first drafts. (I do a lot of brainstorming/freewriting, then sort it all out by copying things over.) I find that writing by hand slows me down a great deal, but I revise more thoroughly, and I can usually keep up with my thoughts if I use shorthand.

      It may be perverse, but I love recopying whole drafts by hand (revising as I go).

  3. Awesome, what did you get? I just got an old Powerbook for my MFA like 1.5 years ago, 17″ for ilke $300 used. But I love it. I can’t write by hand, my hand cramps up and everything. I make notes, jot things down. But I also type like 70 wpm, so it’s easier to type.


    1. Yeah, me, too. Although some things, I will admit, are easier on a computer. And vice-a-versa.

      Greg, do you write your BO posts by hand, then transcribe? I’ve done more than a few that way myself. I also sometimes print out hard copies, copyedit them, then edit/post them.

  4. I write in longhand, transcribe to my laptop, print out the copy and edit the printout. Then that gets transcribed into the laptop, etc. etc. But any lengthy rewrites (whole paragraphs or sections) are once again done in longhand.

  5. you know i write by hand. there are many of us out there. old school. but i also have a laptop and am obsessed with internets.

  6. Yeah, I write by hand. Sometimes even blog posts. All of my stories, comics, novels, etc. are written by hand first. Preferably in a lined green-papered chemistry notebook with a Parker Vector fountain pen (blue ink, stainless barrel). I need to be able to draw at the same time which computers don’t lend themselves to. And I spend a lot of time on trains. Computers are a pain on the train. I have an iPhone, several laptops (unfortunately) – I’m no Luddite – but I like paper. Anything I do to post on the web will be entered through my desktop – I have a big monitor for graphics stuff – I like that for the clunky web interfaces.

    1. I don’t think of preferring paper for some tasks as a Luddite thing (which I know you didn’t say, but that others might think)—quite the opposite. If anything, it’s a matter of choosing the best technology for the task. As you note, computers aren’t very conducive to sketching (yet).

      I also find that when I have scratch paper and a pen, I can write out certain ideas that word processing programs don’t really help me develop. Alternately, there are things I can do with a keyboard and Word that would be frustratingly difficult with pen and paper.

      I figure that, as a writer, my “job” is to explore all these different technologies, learning how best to use each one. Paper, pens, laptops, typewriters, audio recorders—they’re all just different tools.

      1. Late 90s Fujitsu 700 series Lifebook. Hard to say what year exactly because every part’s been swapped out over the years, like the ship in the philosophical conundrum about identity. As close to a typewriter as I can get and still have word processing on it. Everything else stripped away. Background that looks like paper of one sort or another. Use to be inconvenient as fuck, now I’ve configured it so it’s inconvenient as frig, with replacement batteries that required parts that had to be shipped from overseas and were held up at customs for over a month. Nothing romantic about it, I just like how it feels. These smooth, flat keyboards don’t do it for me. I need resistance. You saw the guy who hooks up manual typewriters to a computer via USB cable? That’s too much resistance for me. I’m high maintenance but the laptop’s holding steady even though the human lap-bones have probably evolved since it was built.

        1. Can we get some pictures, Tim?

          And where can I see this guy connecting his typewriter to a computer…?

          I don’t have a typewriter at the moment, and I miss that. I find automatic writing and freewriting very easy on a typewriter, but challenging by hand.

  7. I had a laptop in college but now I have a desktop and I’m madly in love with it. It’s kind of obscene. I honestly prefer the desktop. The only thing I miss about having a laptop is its portability.

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