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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Let's Do It the Old Fashioned Way

Rock? Nope.
Scissors? Maybe . . .
Paper? Oh, hell yes!
Pen? How many? 
Because you mean several pens, right? 
I need pens, so yes!

Raise your hand if you practically live on the computer. And don't be literal, not on top of it (no one likes a smartass) (well, depends on your delivery), but using computers on a daily basis for hours at a time.

Yeah, me too, guys. Me too. I'm a big fan. Well, technically I'm on the laptop not a desktop computer, but that's neither here nor there. I enjoy typing away to my heart's content. I enjoy popping on Google to do research with just a couple of clicks. I may . . . on occasion . . . enjoy Facebook and Pinterest, but I'm not admitting to a thing. I also like the fact that emails pop right up, which is handy if I'm eagerly awaiting one (usually from Amazon saying "your order has shipped"). Ahem . . .

But those are distractions aren't they?
Yes. Yes, they are.

Now, I will assume that if you like to write you also enjoy or enjoyed writing on paper at one time or another. I'm here to suggest you try to go back to that once in a while. I've been writing the old-fashioned way a bit more lately and have been enjoying it. Sure my hands can get crampy sometimes, but let's not pretend carpal tunnel doesn't exist. Pen and paper gives me a different kind of thrill. A nostalgic kind, if that's a thing. I remember it influencing my love for writing to begin with. And did I mention it cuts out distractions?

When last did you write the old-fashioned way? 

Don't you remember it being easy on the eyes? There's no glaring light shining down your beautiful face. There's easy access to every single word you wrote down, even if you put a line through it. You get artsy ink splattered on your fingers (yes, artsy. It's abstract looking, no?).  You can go just about anywhere to write, with no worries of power ever running out. Well, maybe your energy will run out, but snack or drink something and you'll be fine. I think. Sure it may take longer to write, but but but . . . it can be liberating. 

Is it perfect? Of course not. 

But how many first drafts are ever perfect? What I'm saying is it can be freeing to just let go. Scribble away and make little bubble notes where you want. Since it's messy regardless go ahead and draw lines with little arrows, or hearts, whatever floats your boat. It will all be fixed when you get it on the screen . . . and that's probably not until a couple revisions, so what's the worry? 

And hey, If you suddenly remember there was an article you meant to read or a YouTube video that looked funny, you can always turn to a page further down and make notes to get to them. So don't fuzz, just make a list of things you'll do on the computer later on. How good will it feel when you check them off after? Even if its mindless internet stuff, checking off to-dos always feel good ;)

Anyway, there's nothing wrong with mixing it up once in a while. What do you think? 

Do you currently engage in my pen & paper "activity"? 
Or will you be trying it when you're feeling stuck?


  1. I write my stories on the computer, but for guest posts and articles and stuff like that, I usually write it out on paper first.

  2. I pretty much always write fiction on the computer because it's easier to keep up with my thoughts. For something like poetry, I like to hand write.

  3. I love the "artsy" ink splattered fingers. My abstract art usually continues up my arm though as I fiddle around a lot as I think. I also end up with random words trailing the inside of my arms...
    I haven't used paper as much lately but I do prefer it for the brainstorming stage. I should try it more often. It is very satisfying sometimes.

  4. Hell yea! I always have to use pen and paper for my crochet patterns, but I find it's easier to write my books with pen and paper first too. This one story I'm working would simply not be the same if I tried to type it on a computer. There are times when it completely gives me pause, something I wouldn't take advantage of if I were typing as fast as I can. So yea, I use pen and paper, but I also type like crazy when I'm writing posts for my blogs. Thanks, I really enjoyed this...pictured us having coffee at the kitchen table, pen in hand, paper beside us and being distracted by our endless chatter :)

  5. I love working with pen and ink . . . but I have a death grip sometimes, and my fingers get tired. However, you are right. It's easier to avoid all the distractions with a journal and a pen, though. I agree with you on that. Thanks for the reminder to get back to the "real" thing. :)

  6. my first book - pen and paper. I nearly said never again. reason? I had to transpose to electronic words. LOL. I guess also because in my job (as a superstar that is) I'm constantly righting, I mean writing, to the point the pen IS my hand. (the surgery isn't covered on my insurance). so now, I jot notes, character info, and keep all that handwritten jargon right by my laptop as it mocks my notebook saying "can't touch this". no really. it's not a touch screen, so, it's technically right.
    I say all this because I love you. and ... your a good time :D cheers babe!!!

  7. Came by you via M.J., S.K. so thanks! Great post. I ALWAYS have paper and pen to hand. Much of my time is on my lap top. Can't not write ... research, email, receiving interesting posts etc; respond etc ...

  8. Most of my stories and novel ideas start off as notes jotted on paper. I usually use a notebook for awhile until all the info becomes too unwieldy then I switch to my computer. I love notebooks and pens, etc - I just wish I had better handwriting. :)

  9. I'm basically a pen and paper girl!
    I love longhand!

  10. Last time I wrote in longhand? Probably twenty years ago! Yes, it's been that long.

  11. I still like to use pen and paper. I shut off the computer every night at 8:00 to unplug and pick up my notebook. Sometimes I can write easier in my notebook because it's hard to get motivated at my desk. I also like typing up what I've written on paper and fine tuning it at the same time. :)

  12. I jot notes on slips of paper, but for full on writing my ms, I type it. Your idea has definite merit. I can see the logic! :)

  13. The last time I wrote with pen and paper was when the electricity went off (happens a lot here in Ghana) and I really wanted to write. My one issue with the method is that you have to type what you've written anyway.

  14. oh I love this because I'm constantly reminding myself to write on paper sometimes. It's crazy how it helps you think differently, and even get some new ideas! :) The only bad thing is that pesky hand cramp! I haven't written manually since college so I'm rusty and I feel it way too quickly!

  15. I remember the last time I wrote with pen and paper because my eye was really messed up (I hadn't been diagnosed yet) and the light sensitivity kept me from looking at the computer screen. I couldn't let that stop me writing though!

  16. I usually write on the computer, but have turned to pen and paper when I'm away from my laptop. It's a little frustrating, because I type faster than I write, so I have to force myself to slow down when I do things the old-fashioned way. I also wind up crossing a lot out and writing in the margins, making for a rather messy document. :)

  17. I miss writing things out by hand. That was always so much fun. But I'm handwriting personal notes on 500 postcards right now (gradually!) to promote my upcoming book release...so the writer's cramp is reminding me why the computer is better!

  18. I love the romanticism behind writing by hand, but I just can't. I'm so scatterbrained. I scratch out words constantly, I write sentences out of order, I change entire paragraphs on the fly... I just kinda mishmash everything together, which works great for the PC, but looks like the ADHD doodling of a crazy person when put to paper.

  19. I now have the worst handwriting on earth since I almost never write with a pen or pencil anymore. It's weird, almost like I forget how to write! I love the idea of pens and notebooks but I can't deny I really only want to write on my laptop now LOL.
    You made me laugh about the email from Amazon about the shipment, I can definitely relate to that.

  20. Interesting post today. I just came home from a country that had spotty (I'm being generous) internet coverage and some electricity (in the countryside), so I was forced to go paper and pencil for a month. It changed how I wrote and how much I wrote. I'll have to think about the results and see what my computer break did to or for me.