Does a paper’s quality affect how you use it — and how creative you are?

A friend, Leigh Hanlon, shared a post with me on Facebook with the question: “Does a paper’s quality affect how you use it — and how creative you are?

An interesting notion. Does cheaper paper allow you to be more creative? His post included a link to a Youtube video, “Wasting Paper!” from the Typewriter Video Series.

Here’s my response to Leigh’s post about paper affecting how creative you are:

Just like how typing on cheaper paper allows you to have more creative freedom to make mistakes, I also found a parallel with blogging.

As the years go on, I find myself being more picky with what I publish on my blogs. I store up a ton of drafts in Evernote, and they never see the light of day. But in the past month I made a separate category in WordPress for my drafts. The category is named “notepad”. Any blog posts under the “notepad” category never appear on my homepage. They never appear in my RSS feed. They never appear in my email newsletters.

I’ve found it very liberating to publish “lesser quality” blog posts without fear of my subscribers seeing these in-progress posts. The posts can still be found by Google. The posts can still be found by me. And if someone REALLY looks, they can find the posts at the “notepad” category index:

As I type this, I’m realizing this process isn’t quite same analogy as the paper in typewriter. What I’m describing is more of what gets published.

I suppose the more direct connection is where I compose my drafts. And that’s in BBEdit. This simple text program is like my blank cheap paper. It’s very simple, no formatting in BBEdit, just text. A more fancy text editor might be like what’s in WordPress where I can add images, bolding, links. The fancy text editor might be akin to the fancy paper with nice texture and weight.

BBEdit just feels so free and open. Even the font is a simple monospace font. I love typing in the simple program. WEeeeeeeeee!

For fun, I’m including an screenshot of this draft in BBEdit as the featured image in my notepad post.

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