Paper or Plastic?

I was talking to someone about writing the other day and they just assumed that all writing these days was done on computers and other devices. She was surprised to hear that all my writing is done by hand and it made me wonder how other songwriters write.

Everything I write is on the back of discarded letter sized paper. The words, the music, everything. I only type them up on the computer when I really have to! (I’m a 2 finger typist)

The reason I handwrite everything is because if I delete something, it is never really deleted and I may come back to it later. If I were to do that on a computer it would be gone forever.

So the question is… do you write by hand or keyboard?

My friend suggested I decoupage my walls with my writings… only if I come back as Martha Stewart in a different life! Great idea though!


    1. I would say 90 % of everything I write is on paper , whether it be my poetry or lyrics , I dont write music , I have notebooks I keep with me in my car and at work ( I pull over a lot ). I am also a two finger typist so the ones I type out are usually only my favorites , I figure if the mental block ever hits i’ll pull out the pile of notebooks 🙂 , if i’m at home and I get inspiration I do tend to go straight to the computer though , I had one occasion though where I had backed up everything I had on my computer on a thumb drive luckily , I got a virus and my computer crashed two days later , best I think to have it all on paper , safer , g

      1. ps on the decoupage idea , i’ve sent about a thousand songs from Boston to my partner in BC Julie , when i went to visit her she had the walls covered in the lyrics all printed out from the emails i sent lol , like wallpaper , looked nice in her studio , of course i’m a little biased , g

  1. Increasingly I’m forcing my memory to develop ideas before getting to the paper/plastic stage, as I find that my ideas develop more fluidly that way.

    However, I use both. I much prefer paper and pen for lyrics in the first instance. Although they’re much easier to lose than a laptop!

  2. I write in notebooks first (though occasionally the muse will hit while I’m at the computer and then I use what’s in front of me!), then transfer to the computer… I like having the original lyrics, complete with crossings-out, to refer back to later. And the archivist in me loves discovering old versions of old songs that have changed a lot over time!

  3. I write lyrics on paper. I make sure I have nice pens, Sharpies and a nice purple uniball, that way I can enjoy the sensation of the ink marking the paper. I have nice cards to write on also. My writing is atrocious!!

    I often forget chords so make a notes of them but they always have lots of things in brackets and numbers, I use a shorthand form of tab as I just don’t get notation…..

  4. I spend all day on a computer, so that’s the last place I want to write songs! I write all my lyrics/lead sheets in a dedicated notebook with a nice pen. There is something about pen in hand and paper that makes it more organic for me. I don’t read music well so all my musical ideas get recorded into my phone and then later into Garageband/Logic if they are up to snuff.

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