I’ve been spending a lot of time on my computer lately (“What do you mean ‘lately’? You’re there everyday.” you demand …). OK. I haven’t been using my computer in the most healthy way – avoiding overuse and all that guff. So, I was finding that my wrist was getting a tad sore, and decided to try something other than typing and surfing. I grabbed paper and pen, jotted down the last few lines I’d types up, turned off the machine, lay down on the floor and began writing … handwriting.
The thing about handwriting is that I find that it engages my brain differently to typing, so I often find that my ideas begin to flow better when I’m handwriting. Also, if I’m troubled about something, rather that flicking to a browser window, or checking Twitter, I actually deal with the issue at hand and continue writing. Even if it gets scribbled out and rewritten a few times before I’m happy, the fact is that it’s getting written.
And then there is the fact that I have to type it up in order to keep my digital version up to date – plus, it’s easier to make sweeping changes to the digital version.
But, you know what? That’s one of the things I like about handwriting – when I type it up, I’m already editing. I’m already taking a second look at my words, my ideas, my imagery. And, I think that is why a lot of my earlier ideas were better than my more recent ones (hence why the current rewrite is largely old stuff with new merged in) – because when I started this thing, I often worked away from a computer … or, right beside one, but not one that I wanted to be writing my story on (read: work computers). So, I started out with a lot of handwriting.
In fact, I think the only thing I don’t like about handwriting is that it uses up paper. And, as much as I have a soft spot for the old faithful, I am also keen to move toward a paper-reduced society … save the trees for cleaning our air, I say. I’m a bit of a fan of free-growing forests, as opposed to those rows upon rows of trees specifically grown for harvesting. There’s something truly beautiful about a forest with well developed undergrowth … uh oh … two conversations blending and that sentence suddenly took on a whole other visual image. Ew ew ew.
Right, where was I? Oh, right, handwriting, paper … but I do like a nice pen. Handwriting gives me an excuse to use a pretty pen … although the main thing is that they’re comfy. I have a good few comfy pens. Especially my Parker ones (plug plug).
Oh, OK. One problem with handwriting is that it can feel like you have written a whole lot more than you actually have … I say, looking at my piddly 727 words today … Eight and a bit A5 pages. Yeah … I can see how I only managed that. There are a few scribbles, and I probably only get 100-ish words per page … I’m rambling. I have reached that point in my post where I should come up with a strong ending to match the flourish of my opening. Or … ask a question. Oh, oh!
So, tell me … do you ever hand write your fiction?