I once wrote an entire manuscript by hand on a legal pad during my breaks at work. I have no idea where that legal pad is today, and I’m sure Harper Collins would be knocking down my door if I could locate it, but le sigh, such is life.
There is something intrinsically satisfying about sitting down with a blank sheet of paper and a pen. How many great ideas were born of rough sketches on the back of a cocktail napkin or the Sudoku puzzle page of the in-flight magazine?
Dan Roam has an entire book devoted to back-of-the-napkin thinking. There are stories (some true, some not) of great business ideas, songs, even novels getting their start on tiny scraps of paper.
Sure, we’re in the digital age, and we all want to save the trees so our grandchildren can actually live on Earth, but we haven’t eradicated the true written word. Studies have been done that show that when you write something down you are more likely to remember it than just having read it or even typed it. In my first year at the illustrious University of Texas Creative Program, we were all forced to use nothing more than our brains, and pen and paper to get our great ideas across. And guess what? We did.
So, I’m glad paper isn’t going anywhere for a while. What about you? When you show up for the big meeting, important lecture, or to get that creative idea out, what tools do you bring with you?