Every time I read about a writer shuffling through a dog-eared, coffee-drizzled pile of foolscap or 'making that leap from the notebook to the screen', I always feel a little inadequate. Maybe this is how it's supposed to be done. Perhaps I'm not the real thing because I can only write on a computer.
I've mentioned before that it took me years to screw up enough confidence to launch into a novel. There are many reasons for this (I can't simply blame Art School mentality), but one of them was definitely disgust at my own handwriting.
In my mid-twenties I started a children's novel. I didn't have a computer then so I wrote by hand. I can't remember much about it, but I do recall that everything about the sight of my scribble cried out 'put me in the bin and go to the pub!'. So after a few pages, I did. Perhaps if I'd used a word processor, I might just have been less prejudiced. Nicely justified and spell-checked in Times New Roman, perhaps I would have been able to concentrate on the story and take it somewhere interesting. Perhaps.
Agents, editors and established writers sometimes complain about this phenomenon -- the way word processing creates the illusion of competence. Mediocrity can dress itself up as literature, right from the off. That'll be a bad sign for me then. But I can't help being grateful for the crutch that got me walking, and gave me the confidence to want to run.