And by that, I mean printing out my work from a computer to write all over in red pen and then input my edits back into the computer. There’s something about reading a piece of writing—creative or not—in hard copy rather than on the screen. Seriously.
While actually finding and buying printers can be a pain, using them generally (hopefully) isn’t. I’m not the most computer-literate person, but I can get around a web browser and Word document just fine. I write poetry and nonfiction and have printed out entire manuscripts with the intention of editing on paper rather than on my screen. And without a printer, that couldn’t happen.
I’ve had some pretty crappy printers in my time—I wear them out faster than computers, to be sure—but generally, as long as I keep the ink cartridges full and don’t run out of paper, I don’t have a problem. I’ve never worked with laser printing except professionally, so I don’t have the luxury of awesome (super fast) printing like that at home. But inkjet printing is just fine for something I’m going to seriously markup anyway.
Haha, I remember my first printer. It was a dot-matrix (something similar to what I had is shown above) that was, at the time, pretty up-and-coming in the computer market. It wasn’t the most cutting-edge thing, but it wasn’t like it was old, either. I remember sitting there watching the paper being fed into it when my dad printed something really long. It had only black ink ribbon cartridges (is that what they were even called back then?) and was super loud when it was printing.
I don’t think we have that printer anymore, and we’ve gone through quite a few since then, but it was a big deal at the time.