For some, writing on paper is antiquated, odd even. Often, when I look up from my notes, while writing in a café, I realise a stranger has been staring at me, looking confused. The fact is, taking a break from the computer screen is not only healthy, but incredibly useful.
Firstly, because it allows you to take stock and see how much progress you have made, holding 40 pages in your hands being far more satisfying than reading the page count at the bottom of your screen.
Secondly, because it gives you distance from your text and the opportunity to finally spot the missing words and commas, the odd spelling mistakes and clunky sentences.
Thirdly, because your print-out gives you an at-a-glance view of your story, which a computer cannot.
Fourthly, and crucially, the pen goes quicker on the page than the fingers on the keyboard. Writing on paper is a more visceral experience because you’re faster and more in tune with your thoughts.
And finally, the process of typing your corrections and additional sentences into your Word file after your ‘paper break’ is in itself a very productive editing exercise.
While writing on a computer is obviously the most efficient option, especially when you are writing a novel and shifting content around on a regular basis, regular ‘paper breaks’ are fantastic opportunities to adjust your focus and improve your writing.