Monday, August 6, 2012

Having You Tried Writing? Putting Pen to Paper.

Have you tried writing?

It's a freakin' writing blog bright-boy. What the heck do you think I'm here for, your dashing good looks?

That's not what I meant. My dad used to say, "There's a tool for every job".

Great, now he's talking about his daddy issues. I'm outta here.


As writers we have to choose our writing tools wisely. Thanks to the latest word processing software, now we can move huge chunks of text with minimal effort, track changes, leave comments and reminders, search for problem words and phrases, and send drafts to our friends and enemies with ease (yes, some of my drafts are bad enough I think they could be used against my enemies, numerous though they may be).

But what about actual writing? When's the last time you sat down with an actual pen and paper and wrote out a story?

If it's been a while, I encourage you to give it another spin. There's something wonderfully visceral about abandoning your laptop and writing out a story longhand. Personally, I find it very effective to write out a first draft longhand and then make changes as I transcribe what I've written onto the computer as a second draft. I even have a special writing journal (several actually) with special mechanical pencils and erasers that I only use for creative writing (lest they find their way into the pen drawer...WHERE DID WE GET ALL OF THESE PENS!?!?!)

Give it a try some time.


  1. Holy crap, you are hilarious. I'm still laughing at "Yes, some of my drafts are bad enough I think they could be used against my enemies" <----Hahaha!

    Gosh, this is something I haven't thought about in forever... I can't remember the last time I sat down and wrote with a *gasp* actually pen and paper. There is magic to it, this is true. :D

    Fab post.

  2. No. Way! I'm a hopeless paper notebook & pens fanatic!

    I scribble scrabble everything down, always carry at least one notebook with me and a pen box filled with everything from crayons and pencils (several kinds) to ball pens, fountain pens and markers. Not kidding. Drives my hubby mad! (Although it makes it easy for him to find me cheap gifts)

    I haven't written a story longhand though, and I must say, as I read your post just now it dawned on me that the awesome new word processors (I have several of those too, from freebies to Office and Scrivener) that make editing texts easy, make editing texts too easy! It's so tempting to tamper with the text as you write it, change words in mid sentence and waste time googling synonyms before you even get to type the period --> . <--!

    Okay, maybe I'm the only one suffering from PES (pre-editing syndrome) but I'm definitely going to give this a try. Drafting longhand. Hah. Thanks, Adam!

    1. You're like a walking office supply store! I don't think you're the only PES sufferer. Perhaps you should start a support group. :)

  3. I don't think I could write an entire draft via pen & paper, but I do write scenes old style every now and then when I don't have my computer/want to give my eyes a break from the screen. :)

    1. Yeah, a whole manuscript is pretty tough to do in pen but I love it for a short story. We finally got some sun in Oregon and I sat outside with my notebook on Sunday and wrote out an entire first draft of a robot sci-fi short story. It was great (although I'm a little sunburned)!

  4. I actually find it's best for me if I write things out first and then type them up. It forces me to go over all my work twice and tends to be the most thorough immediate revision I do.

    (As a side note, I have a problem with the sound of graphite on paper and so I prefer pens. It just drives me crazy, and a crazy Wordsmith is no help to anyone. =D)

    1. Graphite drives you crazy? Interesting! A couple weeks ago I learned what the most maddening sound in the world is: an elk grinding its teeth (which they do when they're stressed). Trust me, it's enough to make you go on a 6-day bender.


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