Thursday, February 26, 2009


Last week Kristin Nelson discussed the meaning of writing with the advent of word processing. I started thinking-Perhaps years of keeping a journal by pen and paper has my brain wired to writing by hand. When I compare my personal journal keeping by hand to my attempts at fiction by electricity, it seems that my writing goes much smoother when I'm not staring at a blinking cursor.

So I decided to give it a try, and with my new Composition Book (the very cool kind with the black and white mottled cover and no spirals)I sat down and began to write where I had left off. And just like that I had one thousand words. I mean, I managed to write it all while my son banged around with his kitchen set (a very masculine kitchen set). Yes, my thoughts definitely flow better this way.

Of course, I have to transfer the words to my computer, but then I can sneak in a rewrite that way. See, I have decided that my rough draft (yet another analogy) is like a skeleton. I will go back and flesh it out later. So, while I know I am only creating the bones, writing by word processing was like creating a skeleton with osteoporosis. Now my skeleton will survive all the damage I plan on doing to it later.

Another good thing about starting by hand-so much more portable than a laptop! Of course I'll probably be trading writer's block for writer's cramp. Word processing is so relatively new to writers-no need to depend on it. Charles and Jane didn't have word processing, and look what they managed to create.

1 comment:

  1. I also type faster than I write but I always carry one of those notebooks around with me. Lots of times when I'm doing editing, I'll print off the chapter then do the rewrites by hand.

    Do what will get the words on the paper.