joe haldeman on technology and scribbling by hand.

Mitch Wagner at Copper Robot has an audio interview with SF author Joe Haldeman (“The Forever War”) about writing habits and unplugging from technology to create. 

Joe Haldeman works in longhand with a fountain pen, using spiral-bound blank books.  He doesn’t write on the computer for the same reason I’ve turned my back on it for writing: the temptation to goof off and “just check email for a second” when the writing slows down is just too great, and writing in longhand is physically more enjoyable.

(I don’t use spiral-bound books, though, because I dislike the hump of the spiral binding in the middle of the book…it’s always in the way of my hand somehow.  I like bound books that lie flat when opened.)

Poll a hundred writers, and you’ll get a hundred different processes and work habits…


6 thoughts on “joe haldeman on technology and scribbling by hand.

  1. Chang says:

    Heh! I knew you would see this. Check out the BoingBoing post where I mention how I got into the art of longhand again. I was going to write a post about this but since 1) our readership overlaps pretty well and b) I couldn’t really add to it I left it alone.

    But now I’ll link to it because I’m kooky like that. Then I gotta put in my 2 pgs. of ink on paper.

  2. […] had a post about this and so did my boy Marko but I figured I’d add it in there because the internet is all about redundancy, […]

  3. ILTim says:

    I just discovered this article via a photography blog, and I’ll bet it resonates with you as well.

  4. BryanP says:

    If memory serves, Jerry Pournelle’s method is to use a standalone computer with a word processor. No games, no modem, no ethernet, no connectivity at all. Back when I read about him doing it I think he carried files back and forth on floppies and then zip disks, but these days a flash drive would work quite well.

    But then you’ve got that little battery powered word processor that would server the purpose quite well too.

  5. Laughingdog says:

    I suspect that anyone that actually enjoys writing in a spiral-bound book doesn’t actually write on the back side of the pages.

    • Marko Kloos says:

      According to the pictures in the article, Haldeman does write on both sides of the page. Some people aren’t bugged by the metal spiral in the middle, but it’s always in the way of *my* hand somehow.

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