It is a well (or not so well) acknowledged fact that writing with a pen is superior to writing on a computer. I say this in all seriousness as I type this out on a word processor—an ugly term for something used for a noble art. I am a romantic— as such, a computer fails to satisfy as a well-crafted fountain pen does. I would much rather listen to the scratch of the metal nib of a dip pen on paper, than to the monotonous patter of plastic keys being struck.
Some would argue that it is easier to write on a computer, and it is. Some would argue that writing on a computer makes for neater documents. It does (though I’ve never been one for documents, and reports, and other such business sounding creatures). In fifty years from now when most of our modern authors are dead, they will display their computers in museums, with the glorified word processing document that contains the author’s last work open on a screen only growing more pixelated with time. And it will interest me not at all. No, in fifty years, it will still be the cuneiform tablets of the Sumerians, carved into clay tablets; the Norse works engraved with sweat (and blood) into stone tablets; the elegant handwritten letters of Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, scratched out with a real pen, on real paper, in the midst of the American Civil War; and the monolithic manuscript of The Lord of the Rings, in all its messy, unorganized glory, that hold my attention and most likely the attention of others.
When I finish a manuscript, laboriously scratching it out with a pen as if dipped in my own blood, I look back and see the carnage of ink and paper of a battle long fought, and costly. Words, sentences, paragraphs, scratched out, as if condemned at the executioner’s block. I see the corpses of drafts that were, and that shall be laid to rest in dignity in a drawer of my desk. I see stains of coffee, and tea, forever a testament to the work that went into the newly fledged creature that the public will see.
So, while it may be easier, I will not yet utterly bend the knee to the Tyrant Computer.