What do you write ON, exactly?

Once a week, I send out an invitation to my writing group that says when and where we’re meeting, as well as what to bring. Earplugs are sometimes a good idea; but as far as how to get our work done, there’s a lot of leeway.

Kurt Vonnegut didn’t think much of writing with crayons, but there’s probably a writer out there who can ONLY work in waxy Spring Green.

What’s your favorite medium?
Have you found that one kind of story comes out on the computer, and another pops out in pencil?
What about sidewalk chalk, an x-acto knife, or graffiti?
Have you done doodles in margins of your notebooks in ink, only to scan them later?
Does your mind feel more organized by lined paper? Graph? Blank?
Do you have a pile of dollar-store notebooks you use in the same pile as seventh-grade graph paper?
Do you feel more comfortable with big fat notebooks or little pocket-sized ones?
Moleskine, fauxskin, napkin?

Can you write with anything on anything, or are you as consistent as James Bond and Captain Picard’s choice beverage?

Let me know what you’re using these days.

It’s called a pen. It’s like a printer, hooked straight to my brain.
– Dale Dauten

I don’t use a pen. I write with a goose quill dipped in venom.”
– Jay Dratler

Lying in bed would be an altogether perfect and supreme experience if only one had a colored pencil long enough to draw on the ceiling.”
– Gilbert K. Chesterton


16 thoughts on “What do you write ON, exactly?

  1. CarrieS

    Laptop, unless I’m out with kids and then I write on a tablet (iPad, currently, but I haven’t worked out the kinks of it). It’s hard for me to sit down to write if I know I’ll have to stop soon but easy for me to write with a lot of background noise. I wrote a chapter about Wuthering Heights once at a roller skate birthday party. The sounds of Justin Beiber wailing, “Baby, gh baby” were just like the winds moaning on the moors…

  2. kmalexander

    Hummm, for me: I use a laptop for the bulk of my writing and I write using Scrivener. I make notes either in a squared moleskine or using my phone w/ Evernote. I’ve been leaning to the latter more and because my handwriting sucks and Evernote has some great stuff that lets me organize quickly.

    I cannot for the life of me do longhand.

  3. LillianC

    Business: my Lenovo laptop hooked up to a big flat monitor and a keyboard. Personal: spiral notebooks in blue, purple, or green with a Bic medium black ballpoint. When I’m editing, my choice of pen varies depending on the stage I’m at. For signing autographs, I have four different high-class pens to choose from, elegant to goofy.

      1. LillianC

        Ist edit is Red. Sometimes I use the yellow highlighter to mark places where I should expand or follow through on that story issue. Second edit is Green. God help me if I have to go all the way to the Third edit, which is either Blue or Purple, depending on what I have on hand. Clearly I’m talking about novels. With short stories red is enough.

  4. www.laurensapala.com

    I REALLY like yellow legal pads (of course, you already know that 😉 but lately I’ve been making do with white. Whatever color, it’s GOT to be a legal pad. And black ink pens. Black is essential.

  5. toconnell88

    God, this post has reinforced how stuck in my ways I am! I write almost exclusively on my laptop, and sometimes outline on paper, or make notes on Evernote.

    Really should make time to change it up and experiment. Your group sounds like great fun 🙂

  6. woodlandwhimsy

    I’m a sculptor, not a writer, but all my notes with or without sketches go on whatever is handy at the time. I’d make a poor writer, as I’d never find all my notes to get things together.


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