Can a Writer Go Paperless?

So many times I read the advice about printing out the manuscript to read it, especially for last round edits and finding those little typos. It’s also useful to grab on the way to writer’s group to combat issues like low laptop batteries and losing one’s place while reading words on the screen.

However, in the quest to be less attached to physical objects – the question keeps surfacing with as much as I read about the subject. Some laud Twitter as bringing people to make their updates in a succinct style, while others study that writers are wordier when they write directly into digital methods rather than on paper first and then transcribing later.

I’m sure most of that would be true in varying degrees depending on the writer. Some writers can go on and on about all kinds of things, while others make certain they boil it down to the most essential substance. It’s part of an individual style as much as anything else. I’m not sure wordiness can be equated with quality on any level. Some swear by the 1000 page novels and others prefer short pieces that don’t span the full page.

My moving saga has taken me away from my laptop with the two monitor system that I had in my little library. I love stacks of books surrounding me while I type out my next piece. Some of those books are blank and others are binders with hard copies littered with comments in varying colors. [I love using colorful ink.] The other missing part of my setup is the printer. It’s in storage for a time and I’m learning to compensate with different ways for that.

It’s not so bad. But I haven’t found a new writer’s group yet. I’ve been finding ways to not just write online, but also edit. I can’t say whether I’ve found all the ways to manage what I need. I’ve managed to critique a couple things from friends, and that’s been quite an experience to get the apps on my iPad running the way I want them. I keep thinking just one more… just one more…

I’m curious about other writers who manage without paper. It seems like a less physically demanding way to survive without the stacks of manuscripts covering the desk. Do writers exist in paperless environments, even on a temporary basis?

I write, therefore I exist — even without my comforting paper clutter. Right?


4 thoughts on “Can a Writer Go Paperless?

  1. I’m trying to limit my printing to save trees 🙂 But there are times when you just need to print and red pen something. I hope that never dies.

  2. I edit with the highlighter in my word processing program on my laptop. I too am trying to go paperless, but for different reasons. I can file anything on my computer and find it immediately. Papers just seem to clutter up my world. I have gotten to the point where I don’t keep paper in my computer. That way when I hit print, nothing happens, and then I have to physically go and add paper to the printer to actually be able to print. I do however half to print a final draft for my editor (my father), who then goes through and finds any missed or mistaken words. Otherwise it is just on the computer…

    By the way, I would like to invite you to check out the Writing Contest that we are sponsoring on our other blog We are doing it for charity.

    Peace and Harmony,

  3. Some writers can go paperless. I am in a regular writer’s group and there are 2/10 who manage to edit everything on the computer and then send it out.I am not one of those. My eyes process a written page better. But as people become more and more used to the electronic media, It’s possible that will change.

  4. Thank you for your comments. I do hope we manage to save a few trees but still send out our best work(s).

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