Neil Gaiman is writing his next novel in a beautiful leather-bound blank book that was purchased in Venice. Click over to his blog and take a look at the pics--and note that the third photo shows two very full handwritten pages (he says they're close to 200 words each, on average) with no scratch-outs.
The man is just not normal.
Surely Mr. Gaiman would be a published author even if he'd never touched a computer. I can't say the same for myself. I can't even write a two-line e-mail message without making changes to it, so the idea of writing a first draft of a novel without being able to insert or delete lines of dialogue or move entire paragraphs to other pages is more than a little daunting. I owe a large portion of my writing success to MS Word, and I don't care who knows it.
I wonder what percentage of the people writing novels right now could complete a good first draft without a word processor. Would anyone like to hazard a guess?