The Pencil is mightier than the Keyboard

Dear Blog,

I’m sorry for neglecting you.

I know I’ve moved house this month, haven’t had internet access, and my electricity supply hasn’t been the most stable (not to mention the leaky roof, exposed cabling, and dodgy plumbing…) but that’s no excuse for not keeping you up to date.

So, my new flat needs a bit of work...

The thing is, in the last three weeks I’ve had a bit of an eye-opener – and I’ve realised that the fault is very much mine.  Last week I sat surrounded by boxes, bags, damaged curtain rails and endless bottles of cleaning products, intent on writing something about my House Moving escapades when it hit me:  I can’t write blogs on paper.

I sat there chewing my pen and I was right back to the exam rooms of my student years feeling the same pressure to regurgitate knowledge in some structured manner.  And that is just not  blogging.  Blogging is passion.  Blogging should be relevant, yes, but it’s also about writing about what you want, expressing your opinions not because you have to, but because you want to.

Just this week Isabel Nisbet, the head of the qualifications watchdog, called for exams to move with the times and for them now to be set on computers… but whilst I can see why this would make things easier for marking and as much as I have discovered how tricky it is to blog on paper, I have to disagree that handwriting is ‘outdated’.

Just this week I sat in a New Media Age conference surrounded by other social media fans, fully expecting to be in the minority as I pulled out my paper and pen.  But glancing around the room, rather than the glow of ipads and laptops I saw the majority of my techy contemporaries making notes on paper.   If social media is as important as everyone thinks it is and there I was surrounded by social media advocates, and they were choosing to use “out of date” pen and paper I had to wonder whether Ms Nisbet’s suggestions are quite accurate.

The thing I’ve realised, is that no matter how much I love expressing my blogging self through a keyboard, with pencil you don’t have to worry about carrying it on Tube, or what happens if the battery power fails, or even how you’re going to be able make notes in the rain…

Granted, the internet is a very permanent place, but ultimately thoughts have to get there first.  I may spend each day at work glued to a keyboard, but my to-do list is always on paper – and there’s nothing quite like the satisfaction of physically scribbling through a completed task.

So Blog, I’d like to thank you for your patience this past month.  I’m finally back online, and my keyboard is ready for my unstructured thoughts.  But  just because I struggle to write blogs without keys under my fingers, I hope you understand that I won’t be retiring my pencils any time soon.

All my love,

Claire x

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