I know this is probably a discussion that many people have had with others or with themselves. I find writing to be a very personal thing and the way a person goes about it is their process and their personal choice. But for me I have found longhand is my friend. I have only recently come to this discovery and it was all due to the new Parker fountain pen I received for Christmas.
I have never extolled the virtues of stationary quite like I have for this pen. I love it. Since using it to write I have written more than any time in my life, and I have done a lot, a lot of writing over the years.
Typing is still good, mind you. Using a keyboard gives me the speed I need to get out all the things in my head which I have to get out before I fear I will forget it. Yet that speed can also be my downfall. Being able to get things down quickly means I tend to fluff up a lot of my writing, adding long words or bits and pieces that I just don’t need. Or I don’t spend the time thinking enough about something as I type it.
Writing by hand makes me almost edit myself as I go along. Because it takes longer I pace my writing and spend the needed time to process it before actually putting it to paper and I can definitely see an improved quality in the stuff I write by hand compared to using a computer.
I’ve also started to note down everything I think of. Anything: little lines of dialogue, scene ideas, story ideas, descriptions I like. Most aren’t even for the story I am currently writing but jotting them down has given me a library of ideas to turn to when needed. I never did this when I used a computer solely.
My notebook is crammed like never before and it makes me a very happy writer when I look at it.
Though god-forbid I show it to anyone else. It looks like I’ve spent my hours scrawling alien languages over the pages rather than working! At least it makes sense to me though… hopefully. Sometimes I just look at it and think, ‘what does that even spell?’ when I come to type it up!
Ah well, I think I will still stick to the longhand. It is definitely my medium.
Word Count: 3188
Status of First Manuscript: Writing first draft (Current word count: 27,164)
January E-Book Review: 30% read
How do you feel about longhand? Does it suit your writing style? Or is it all about the typing?