Self Exploration with Writing Devices

Esoteric Spiral
4 min readAug 3, 2021


Writing with pen and paper produces a much different experience than typing on a phone or computer. We are going to try a completely arbitrary test. This initial idea, dreamed up staring at a dry gulch that occasionally holds water, is being recording on my phone notepad. Once I return home, I hope to describe the act of writing on with pen while doing it, and later sitting down on the computer and doing the same.

The first thing to note is that I have numerous misspelled words which I will fix later. The benefit to this process is that forgetting my notebook didn’t deter me from manifesting words from thoughts while in a quiet meditative place. My eyes are slightly strained and I prefer not to look away much from the marvel of the forest. There is a schism between the view “of the world” and the eye/mind connection to this phone. I will take a moment to enjoy the supreme beauty of nature…

(Pen and Paper)

Life continues to fluctuate between panicked, moody, tired or excited. At times like this, “riding the wave” doesn’t seem like a fun nor good idea. I find myself not entirely in control of myself. Though, I feel sure I want to be, no that’s not it…. I want to remain still despite any waves of emotion. No matter how the tides of life change. In some ways, that feels like detachment. I’d rather be present, but also “at the wheel”.

Earlier today I had the thought: “my reaction is my responsibility” This became my chant as I walked to a place where I could sit in quiet contemplation. My rescue dog accompanied me. The entire process launched because I had a stark reaction to the way I was talked to by someone, likely not meaning to be rude. Rather than have a verbal response, I walked away. This inspired a chain of thoughts considering all the possible ways to handle such situations. When and how does one set a boundary? Is it every clear? Can I simply be present and not attempt feedback? I feel like feedback only works the way education or enlightenment do; a person must be open and receptive, otherwise all is lost. Not for good, just for them in that moment.

Chaos crashes against order which holds its ground. Life unfolds not as anyone intended but also just as it should. Here consists of thoughts, laid out on paper with pen and time spent staring at a cloudy sky before nightfall. I wonder if my thoughts or my dictation vary with the change of both speed and method. For paper does not suck at the life in my eyes in the same way a phone does.


The final stage of my personal exploration is typing this section on the computer. Due to my age; old enough to remember the pre-cell phone days and young enough to have started typing and internet surfing in my adolescence, I find the act of typing to be easier and more fluid than mashing virtual buttons on a tiny phone screen. The quickness with which I can correct the rare typo is only superseded by the cleanliness of having no scratch outs. While these may seem like entirely beneficial features, I must also recognize that this device needs to be plugged in often. If I do not save my file I could lose everything I’ve written. It also comes with the same eye strain of staring at a phone, though less intense.

When writing on paper I need to be completely alone, however on the computer I can type and process even amongst others. It is possible the thoughts aren’t as pure, perhaps much less poetic. Is that my surroundings or the device? Hard to say. Over the last few days as I have been producing these writings I have not felt “right” somehow life feels off, and I cannot say for sure how or why. Perhaps there is a fire brewing within, and some kind of artistic release needs to come.

(Follow up-also computer)

One sentence from my phone made little sense and needed re-written. One word from my hand writing felt unclear and was changed to an alternate word. The phone full of typos and misspellings, the handwritten entry had none. As I came back to look over the transcribed copy I found minor edits for clarity in the phone and computer written sections. The most notable difference I find after the fact is that the phone thoughts seem incomplete, I intended to write more, yet did not want to return to the device. The paper and pen might have been a bit dark and abstract, and the computer writing was mostly a lot of questions and no real structure.

From this I learned what I already knew, my best writing is done with pen and paper. However, I did learn that snippets of notes and unformed ideas can be captured on the phone to be developed later, and while using the computer seems to create distance, that distance can be used to curate and edit my own work from a different perspective. All these devices for writing certainly have their place, if you feel strongly about your favorite writing method comment below to share.