Edith here, roasting north of Boston.
I’m in that stage of revisions on my work-in progress (Quaker Midwife Mystery #4) where I print out the manuscript and spend a couple of days at the dining table with a colored pen and words on paper. Last week Ramona DeFelice Long, my dear friend, editor, and writer, wrote a blog post about how she no longer prints out her manuscripts.
Even though using expensive ink smarts, and watching all that paper crank through my printer does, too, I can’t abandon my paper readthroughs. I do it three times during my writing/revision process. Right now is the first time, after I have finished the first draft and addressed all my self-queries I had saved for later (things like, Did the Meetinghouse have a furnace in the basement? Did the post office have lockable individual post boxes? What went on during the winter on the frozen river? And so on).
Reading straight through shows me continuity issues, weak plot points, and the flow of the book. I see the words differently on paper, too. I’ll do it again just before I send it off to be edited, and again before I send it to my publisher.
I don’t, however, write original content on paper (unless I am absolutely stuck somewhere with time on my hands and no laptop), and would never go back to that.
In other areas I also have a foot in both the paper and the digital worlds. We pay almost all our bills by writing an actual, old-fashioned check and sending it in an envelope with a stamp on it. I know I could do it all online, but there’s something about sitting down with the checkbook that feels safer, and is also a link to the past. I can picture my father doing the exact same thing.
I’m a convert to Google calendar. I love it! It’s on both my computers and on my phone., and it sends me handy reminders. I don’t even need the appointment card from the doctor any more – I just poke the appointment into my phone and we’re done. But I also use a paper calendar at my desk, and we keep one downstairs, too. I like that visual reminder of what’s coming up and what has already happened.
I prefer to read books on paper. That said, having a Kindle is a boon for traveling or for trying out a book from a new author I can’t get from the library or am not sure I want to own.
A couple parts of my life that are reassuringly old-fashioned are cooking and gardening. I just don’t see those going digital any time soon (although I do often find recipes online, so there’s that).
Readers: what about you? Are you all digital all the time, or straddling the worlds as I am? What’s your favorite analog thing, and your favorite digital?