Writing on a computer is a very different experience to writing by hand.
Mostly I prefer to write on a computer - it's faster, it's handier, it's easier to email someone a paragraph that just isn't working and beg them for help. But when I started my Rosie novel, I started writing by hand. Partly because it snuck up on me (I went for a cup of tea intending to do some writing and a bit of a novel started), but also because I was returning to writing after a long break and I wanted no excuses. I wanted to be able to write anywhere, once I had a notebook and a pen in my bag. None of this 'Oh, but my laptop is at home with my novel on it, and I'm in the city centre with an hour to spare. . . guess I'll go for cake' messing. No thinking 'I can't write there, there isn't a plug socket.' My novel had to come everywhere with me, short of the bathroom.
Portability is less of a problem now that I own a netbook with good battery life, but I still occasionally like to write by hand.
I'm playing with a very silly story at the moment to amuse myself and I'm writing it by hand. I felt for a long time that I wanted to write a very light-hearted fantasy story, possibly with some adventure elements, and it was a particular notebook that made it all come together in my head. I'd just accepted a new job but hadn't started yet, so I had potential money, but not very much actual money. I fancied a treat but it couldn't be anything too pricey, so I went into my favourite stationery shop and that was when I saw it. And when I saw it, I got a better idea of the kind of story I wanted to write in it.
It was on a shelf beside a big, thick, old-fashioned, stamped leather notebook (a gorgeous piece in its own right, and on my want list), which also could have worked for the kind of story I was in the mood for. But the paper-covered one with the flowers on it just seemed right, and still does.
And I wonder sometimes if, in the switch to writing on computers, we've lost a small ritual. Finding the right notebook - a terrible timewaster, but such good fun.
Or I did wonder. Until a few days ago.
I'm typing up my handwritten story as I write it. But my usual Times New Roman just felt wrong.
I settled on Baskerville some time later :)