author, creative writing, writing

5 Reasons to Print Out Your Work In Progress

Hello writers and good morning to you!

I hope you’ve all had a great week. Last week I spoke about finishing the third draft of my novel, and with the third draft done I took to printing my work in progress out. Having this physical copy was important to me for the next stage of editing, and I’d like to share 5 reasons why I believe you should print out your work in progress.

Let me know if you agree or disagree by sharing your thoughts in the comments below, or contacting me at any time.

1. It feels amazing
Writing a novel is a long process that often brings many challenges. You may love writing, but we all have days when we find it tiresome, frustrating and down right difficult. Holding your novel in your hands is an amazing feeling and it makes it all worth it. It may not be a completely finished, published, physical book copy of your work, but feeling its weight in your hands is truly an incredible moment.
writing (9)

2. You’ll realise how far you’ve come
On screen you can see your word count, see the number of pages. But for me, I didn’t really realise quite how far I’d come, or how much I’d written, until I printed it out. The stack of paper was far bigger than I had expected and that made me feel really proud. If you ever need a boost, print out your work and see for yourself.

3. You can really read it
What I mean by this, is you can take your story away from the screen and really read it. You take your story away from all the distractions of being on the computer, and read it as though it is a finished book. I find that when I read through on my PC, I jump in and out of edits and never really just go with the flow. Reading your story without editing is a great way to check if the plot flows.
writing (10)

4. It’s easier to spot mistakes
Once you’ve enjoyed a non-editing read through, the printed copy will serve as a brilliant editing tool. It is, in my opinion, far easier to spot mistakes on paper than on the screen. So far I’ve found missing words, punctuation errors and general mistakes that I have missed several times on on-screen read throughs.

5. It is a great way to edit
As I stated above, a print out if a great editing tool. You can highlight, cross out and scribble all over the page. It is a fun way to edit and get truly interactive with your story, leaving notes for yourself and generally polishing your story. When you get back to on-screen editing you’ll have pages of notes and suggestions to go through, making it a really great next step in the editing journey.

Do you print out your work? Perhaps you prefer not to? I’d love to hear your thoughts, so comment below to tell me more!

Until then,
Keep writing,
(or editing!),

Join me on instagram
Join me on twitter

46 thoughts on “5 Reasons to Print Out Your Work In Progress”

  1. I mostly write in notebooks so I don’t printout the stories I have written on my blog. But love your points. True. When you know what kind of progress you are making you become more motivated to write more. Nice article.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Since my story is quite long and it would be quite heavy pile of paper, I just convert it to e-book format and proofread on my kindle, making notes for edits on paper with number of page.
    Plus, that way I can be quite sure no one stumbles upon it by chance. Even with that, I can see the benefits of printing it.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah, I see. At the moment I have just used the standard work document settings, not adjusted margins at the moment. However, I think most recommend 1 inch margins on all sides ๐Ÿ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I always print out my short stories and essays before submitting. I just can’t seem to catch the typos and punctuation errors without doing this. Yes, to printing the novel rough draft! I sent mine to a copy center and did it double-sided.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Always. Multiple times. Like you, I prefer reading on paper and I’m more likely to catch mistakes, flow problems and such. And it doesn’t have to be on ‘good’ paper – use the back of lightly used paper to print on so paper isn’t wasted.

    Good advice!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Printed copy every time. And since it is a copy I will red pen, use different highlighters on and stick coloured ‘post it’ notes to, until it looks like a multi coloured porcupine, I hole punch it and put it in an arch binder.

    Two more points to add to your list:
    Even if you have a computer with a huge screen you can only ‘see’ one page at a time and with a laptop only half a page (unless you reduce the font size and split the screen but that makes mistakes harder to spot). Printed off you can lay out several pages (a large dinning room table will accommodate 20 or more) really useful for spotting using the same word to start multiple paragraphs within a chapter – not always obvious when you keep turning pages.

    And the second point is reading from the screen for long periods is EXTREMELY bad for your eyes.If you still want to be writing in twenty years time don’t do it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Lindsey! Thank you for reading and taking the time to share such a great comment. I have popped mine in an arch binder too!
      Also, your additional points are fantastic, so I hope any readers scroll down to the comments and see them. You are especially right about the extended screen use and eye damage from that. Thank you again for stopping by โค


  6. I like to print out documents, especially chapters of my novel or my latest devotional, when I edit. I find it much easier and more enjoyable to have the copy in my hand and be able to make the changes physically before making them digitally.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I always print drafts and bind them at the copy center. I love scrawling all over the pages. Another hint: change fonts. You find even more errors in a different font. Don’t know why, but its true. Nice post. Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

      1. That’d be great! I’m actually hoping to do some guest blogging once uni finishes in May, ’cause I work full time too and don’t have much spare time at the mo. Shall I contact you after May to discuss this? ๐Ÿ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Congrats on reaching such a cool milestone, M. I love the printing out stage for all the reasons youโ€™ve highlighted. I wait until one of the very last drafts possible to print, so reading from a printed copy means Iโ€™m almost at the end, which makes me extra happy and signals that the WIP is almost done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Yes, the more I’m reading through the print out I realise how close I am to being ready to seek feedback. I am making lots of notes and there will be another big edit, but realising I’m close to the end of this stage is exciting (and nerve-wracking!) Thanks as ever for stopping by โค x

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.