C-SPAN has online a great interview with the distinguished historian John Hope Franklin (1915–2009). I often encourage students to consider the possible advantages of writing essays by hand, so I very much like Franklin's distinction between different ways of writing:
Once I've collected the material . . . , I have two ways of writing. If the problem is complicated, I want to see what I'm doing. I write either by hand or perhaps on the computer, but preferably by hand, to try to work it out, to see what I'm doing, how I'm doing. And I just write in longhand on a sheet of yellow paper, some kind of paper like that. And I write for maybe several hours, just working and reworking.Elsewhere in this conversation, Franklin notes that he doesn't do e-mail ("I think it's something of a curse, if I may say so") and describes doing his research "the old-fashioned way." Meaning? Notecards.
If the problem is simple and relatively uncomplicated, I will perhaps even begin by writing on the computer, just writing along. But it's a combination of writing by hand and writing on the computer.
This C-SPAN broadcast has some great clips of Franklin looking at his orchids and working at his dining room table, Pilot G-2 in hand. Take a look:
In Depth with John Hope Franklin (C-SPAN)