National Blog Posting Month, NanoPoblano, NaBloPoMo, 2015Last week I shared with you ten reasons why writing in a notebook is great, but with anything that is positive, there are negatives too. So today, I want to share with you ten things that make me think twice before I pick up my notebook and fountain pen to write.

  1. Copy-pasting will ruin your notebook, editing within the notebook is made difficult.
  2. Backup copies involve copying (photocopy or even by hand) or scanning. Saving to a cloud server is difficult so in the case of a fire your notebook will most likely be lost.
  3. It is not the easiest thing to write in your notebook when it is dark, a computer has intrinsic lightning…
  4. If you write with a small child, then your pen might get hijacked and your notebook will be turned into a sketchpad.
  5. You kill trees, for what scribbles???
  6. If you hide behind a computer, people think you are working, with a notebook they just see you as some artsy species.
  7. Your hands are likely to be stained by ink, especially if you use a fountain pen.
  8. Your laziness will keep you from recopying your writing, and you will start to forget.
  9. When it comes to counting your words, have fun, no one will volunteer to do it for you…
  10. Sometimes in a scribbling frenzy you’ll write so badly, that you cannot read anything at all!

What are the main disadvantages you have come across when using a notebook?


© Solveig Werner 2015. All rights reserved.

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28 thoughts on “10 disadvantages of writing in a notebook

  1. The main one is having to type it all up afterwards, but that can count as the first round of edits if you work hard enough to convince yourself. Other than that there are surely no disadvantages to getting out a fountain pen and a notebook. It makes me happy just thinking about it.

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    1. I have so many old stories forgotten in notebooks, because getting myself to type them up never happened… I type a lot slower when I am recopying something than when I am writing it straight away on the keyboard or in a notebook…

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  2. I have to agree with number 8. I started a short story two years ago in a notebook and still have not typed it in and as a result not finished it. Since then I only use notebooks for journaling and ideas.

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    1. So that has sort of turned you away from notebooks?
      Continue your story, and start typing it, maybe a dictating software could help, you’ll only have to read it out loud…

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        1. No, I am sorry I don’t. It would help me a lot too, I tend to “write” things in my head, while doing the dishes or ironing. After all I could record myself anywhere and then have a dictating software do the typing…

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  3. Haha! I find it funny the way you make being an ‘artsy species’ sound like a bad thing. :p To many people that would be a compliment. Though, work does sometimes come across better towards writers (at least it makes me feel like I’m doing something important instead of just for fun. :p)

    I kind of like having my hands stained in ink, though. There’s something soothing and nostalgic about it. Okay, maybe I’m just weird. Hee hee!

    Oh man! #9 & #10! My brain moves too fast for me to hand write my stories and I definitely would NOT want to count the words. Nope. No, thank you. Handwriting is good for notes and plots, but full novel-lengths need to be typed in my mind. I pray the technological apocalypse never comes for that sole reason.

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    1. Some people seem to dislike the artistic people that let transpire their artistic side. I don’t think that it is a bad thing, but sometimes a person who writes wants to be taken seriously.

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  4. Number 9 is a killer for me. I love writing in notebooks but I write a lot of challenges with very specific word count and…it’s ugly trying to count EXACTLY 200 words (or 99 words or whatever…) O_o

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  5. Agree with several of your points, Solveig, but I still keep paper with me, mostly for the moments when I’m away from my laptop and gets an idea or a word or whatever can be needed later on. Plus I love notebooks as objects. I kind of collect them!

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  6. when The Pet thinks The Notebook is a chewy toyor maybe they just love the smell of ink.

    Do not cry while writing in notebook it gets messy real easy real fast, like a paper chromatography experiment meets Rorschach Art.

    and how about trying to find a particular sentence, you know its there you wrote it, but where is it,you havn to read through the darn thing again and once again get to be surprised by the way you think.

    all said and done i love my notebook,its always there ( relatively speaking) does not run out of power andi have this fancy pen with a lil light at the end so can see where/what i am writing in the dark whoop whoop.
    ~

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    1. Oh yes, I completely forgot the absence of a search function…
      Thank you for these great additions to the list. I did not think about the light up pen, does that actually permit you to see correctly?

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  7. 11. You actually have to carry the silly thing around! How many times have I started writing in a notebook, be it a journal or actual stories? How many times have I forgotten to bring it with me one day after a week or two and didn’t pick it up again for months? How many half full notebooks do i have around the house? sigh. Oh well, Actually, unlike you I’m a very slow writer – I can type about 5 times as fast. And my hand writing is pretty illegible. I do take notes in a notebook and note a computer , unless i have the framework created and just have to add a few words (i.e., one of my weekly meetings). I currently have 5 work notebooks. When I have a meeting or need to do something for a project, I take out the appropriate notebook and write away. But for creative work? I just haven’t been as lucky.

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    1. Pick them up again, or have those tiny notebooks you can slide inside of your back pocket… Inside my notebooks are a big mess, because I leave something and start something different on the next page only to go back to the previous project…
      Maybe if you are doing something like a technology free month you’ll start using a notebook.
      You must type fast… I do type quite fast, faster than many of the people who would be in my courses with their computers, but I always feel that I write a lot quicker by hand, no distractions I guess.

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      1. If I’m taking notes I do much better with paper. I have a stack of notebooks next to me at my desk at work. Writing? I type pretty fast – I have written and posted 1500 word stories for the blog in less than a half of an hour, so, well, Googling that would put me at the speed of a professional typist. I might be exaggerating a little. but not much,: I do type as fast as I can think. If it’s a story….

        I’ve tried lots of tricks with notebooks and will continue as my pile of half filled notebooks gets higher and higher..

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        1. I have the bad tendency to lose my paper (someone thinks it’s nothing important…) but I do appreciate it when I have no notebook at hand.
          Maybe you are not the notebook type.

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          1. When I say paper, I mean “notebook” – I do not use just loose paper, I’d never keep it organized! I have hundreds of little notebooks I use to write lists and such plus the ones I talked about, a notebook for each project that I use to take notes during meetings. Not loose! that would never work. It’s just in creative writing a notebook (paper/pen/pencil) slows me down way, way to much and I often loose track of the idea. I have to use the computer for creative writing.

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    1. I am not sure, I always forget my phone somewhere… But a device you can call it or have some localisation function which is of an advantage…

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