By My Own Hand

Every writer has a preferred way of writing.

For some it is handwritten, others it is typed.  It might require a specific pen, or a special way of stacking the pages to give just the right feel to the paper.  Some like a laptop, others a desktop, and some insist on typewriters.  There isn’t necessarily a right or wrong answer to this as long as it fuels your own creativity.

I like working on my computer.

When I am typing, I am able to get my thoughts out quickly.  I don’t type as fast as I think or speak, but I can type close enough to not lose my thoughts completely.

As I begin outlining, when I am putting my initial ideas down, I like paper.  I like writing thoughts out in a cheap spiral notebook, occasionally in a funny colored ink, much like I did as a child.  There is a purity of process that comes from writing my ideas out in the same way as writers have been doing since the beginning.  There is no frills getting in the way, no snipping over to facebook for a quick check, its just me and my thoughts.

Handwriting my ideas out takes a while.  It’s slow, my hand can begin to cramp if I try to write for too long, and it can be messy.  If I make a mistake I end up with a scribble in the middle of my paper.  My handwriting slowly deteriorates as I write, going from neat and orderly to barely readable within a few sentences.  It is honestly a pain, yet I keep doing it.

After my ideas are written down, it is nice to have the notebook there to flip through as I type.  It doesn’t take much to switch from tab to tab on a computer, scrolling through the information.  It can be done, but I don’t like to do it that way.  I like the tangible feel of my ideas in a notebook.  Instead of being a vague idea, I have proof in my hands that I am working on something.  I can see the potential for my thoughts to be a book, because they are beginning to look like a book already.

I know I could type my outline, and print it out when I am ready to start writing.  This would allow me to have my preferred method of writing, and also have a paper copy to flip through.  But I don’t.  I pick up my notebook and I write my outlines by hand.  I enjoy the ownership that I get; it is not just an outline, it is my thoughts in my own handwriting.

The way I write, even the parts of it that drive me nuts, they are all important.  There are what makes my thoughts run, what help me to keep the creative well from running dry.