Does drafting electronic posts make me lazy?

I’ve been reading a few posts recently about how we write our blogs, whether we use a computer, the WP App via a SMARTphone etc and it got me to wondering if how we write – pen and paper or electronically – make a difference to how we write. Specifically in this post I ask whether using a computer to write my first draft makes me a lazy blogger. To find out the answer to this question and to share my discoveries please read on.

This post is the product of inspiration when I was actually writing something else, but when inspiration strikes I’m grabbing it with both hands. Today’s post was supposed to be about the importance of structure, I’m not sure how I got from there to here, but I did start to think about the process of writing and whether computers make us lazy.

Let’s start with some more questions to ponder – do we spend less time writing and editing drafts compared to writing longhand with pen and paper? Or is that just my perception?

As I worked on this post, these are the questions I found myself asking. Maybe it’s just me, but when I type directly onto the computer I print less off and also find I’m editing less. Is it fair to say I’m lazy? Also, if I follow my thinking, am I producing a poorer piece of work when type directly into electronic format compared to taking the time to put pen to paper first.

Let’s look at this logically, and I can apply how I work to all areas: lesson planning, developing course materials etc as well as writing for my blog. I can only commit to text electronically when I already have a clear idea of what I want to say in my head. My structure and arguments are clear before I get started.

So if I’m playing about with ideas I need pen and paper to allow me to explore my thoughts. Sometimes I can start working on a piece of writing and that helps me formulate my ideas and I can quite quickly move to the computer to type everything up – its as if I’m transcribing the mental notes have created in my head – I can type them directly without the need to commit them to paper first.

I know this is time-saving if I’m writing a lesson plan but I do still wonder if I’m missing out on some creative thinking and inspiration when I go straight to text with my blog post ideas. I believe I dont reflect while I type as much as I do when writing.

For example, I’m writing this longhand on a train – as I said earlier, it’s not the blog I intended to write, but working with pen and paper, this is the one that needed to be written. Had I brought my tablet with me – I note it didn’t occur to me to use the WP App on my phone – I would have written the post on structure and I believe there is a strong possibility this would never have been written, I wouldn’t have got the inspiration.

Could it be more that typing is linked to the analytical, rational side of my brain so I’m more focused on productivity and task completion, whereas writing by hand is more creative. Through my longhand writing I’m more expressive and therefore more open to being creative and more likely to have inspiration strike.

I talked earlier about writing and swapping to the keyboard as everything seems perfectly formed in my head and I know exactly what I want to say. The converse is also true. I can sit in front of a screen with a blank page and just don’t know where or how to start. Maybe I haven’t yet created a toolkit for electronic writer’s block, but it doesn’t seem to happen with the pen. Even if I end up with a finished article which didn’t meet my initial brief.

Returning to my opening question, I don’t believe typing rather than writing means I’m lazy or makes me lazy. I do, however, believe that in the right circumstances, it can be more efficient but there may be a cost if it means that the reflection, inspiration and creativity that comes with hand-written drafts means arguments aren’t as developed, points of view etc aren’t explored etc. so it may be brevity that results in less depth of thought and discussion, but still a perfectly acceptable post.

This is my own experience driven thoughts, but I’d love to hear what others think – maybe I’m just old-school and more familiar and comfortable with pen and paper. I also wonder if you could tell the difference between the blogs written by hand and those created directly on a computer?


  1. I think it is just about preference. I prefer writing my draft in my notebook with a pen. I love not only buying nice notebooks and pens. Thank you for sharing how you write your draft posts.


  2. I’m with you on stationery. It’s a challenge to walk past Paperchase. Fortunately it’s closed on my way to work

  3. I only write on paper when I feel it’s a matter of necessity. For me, everything about writing on paper feels tedious, and editing is terrible, even if I double-space to start out. In my case, I don’t think writing on the computer changes the amount of reflection or analysis, but I believe, for me, hand writing results in a less self-censored product, even at the first-draft stage. If I didn’t have a computer, I wouldn’t write much, but it’s probably a matter of habit and personal preference.

  4. I’m 50/50 on the topic. I’ve done both, and can draft 2x faster by typing. But then again, pen and paper just feels ‘freer’ to me. Like, I can draw diagrams, arrows, make quick lists, all which aren’t as friendly on a word processor. So there are the pros and cons. Anyway, nice take on the topic!

  5. Interesting subject, Brenda. If I’m writing a blog post, I do it mostly on the laptop. Most other writing starts off from pen and paper. It is something that has developed subconsciously. Is it to do with how the brain links our various writing practices and, as you say, the brain looking for a shortcut?

  6. I’m glad you found it interesting Davy. I’ve been developing some course materials this morning and writing up a draft of a blog. I must admit I felt that the structure was a bit all over the place. Typing it would allow me to restructure as I go, but it was good to catch my ideas as I was writing. It was a topic I know inside out, but even with that I suspect I’ll have to type it up on word so I can print it off for editing. I guess writing is even more complex than i initially thought

  7. 🤔 In the past (which was around 2011), I did drafts the old-fashioned way ― pen and paper.

    Back then, it was more of a time management tactic; it was to ensure that I had something available to type when I was finally in front of my laptop computer.

    I eventually graduated to doing my drafts in my smartphone’s text notepad.

    At that time, I would either copy it and paste it to the WordPress editor (which was the one before the Block Editor) or look at what was in my smartphone’s notepad and type it out on my laptop computer.

    Today, it is all done electronically; I do it in a text document on my laptop computer or do it directly into the Jetpack mobile app.

  8. I agree. When i write using pen and paper, there are more ideas that pop into my mind.
    I make a Diary entry every day. That’s when I get my blog ideas. I post them here on WordPress then.

  9. I find that it’s easier to edit when I’m typing and can insert something neatly (as opposed to drawing an arrow to the scribble in the margin) or delete a phrase (as opposed to scratching it out) or move a paragraph (as opposed to putting brackets around it and another arrow to where I want it, crossing over a couple more arrows) … you get my point. On the other hand, when I’m inspired with an idea and I’m not at my laptop, I need to write it down on paper. Case in point: Right now I’m trying to remember an inspiration I got this morning while praying in front of the fireplace and didn’t write down. :/ These are the times I repeat my daily prayer for my ADD mind: “Help me to remember what I need to remember.”

  10. Thank you for your contribution to the discussion. I agree, editing electronically can be a more efficient use of time. And if there a lot of changes, putting them on paper can get messy and confusing.

    I hope you remembered your ideas … that happened to me on Friday while walking to work … its important to capture those ideas quickly before they are lost forever.

  11. My teaching years included teaching about prewriting ideas. One, clustering, is beat done on paper. Freewriting, however, as long as you have decent writing skills, is suited to typing, unless your handwriting is faster than your typing. For me it doesn’t much matter since my handwriting has gotten so bad.🤪

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