I was having a terrible time getting going on Wings of Song. I would sit and stare at the blank page on the computer, finally write a few paragraphs, get going, feel pretty good, write a few chapters … and then come back either an hour or a day later and delete everything.
Finally, I took drastic measures. I pulled out my old clipboard, scavenged a lined paper supply from my children’s hoard (for whatever reason, they would ten times rather draw on lined paper than on blank), found my pens that are the only pens I can ever write with, world without end, amen (hey, I know I’m not the only one that fussy about my pens), and started writing longhand.
It worked. It worked really well. The writing is slower, but so much better – I can see the improvement already. Even the notes in the margins, rather than simply deleting and replacing text, seem to help.
Sometimes you just have to return to the old-fashioned way, right?
But oh, my poor hand muscles. They are so sore after a bout of writing. I started using a computer for all my writing purposes in college ten years ago (ten years! I bumped into one of my favorite profs this weekend while visiting home, and both of us felt immensely old when we realized how long ago it had been that I was in his class), and I’ve been almost exclusively computerized since. My handwriting muscles are seriously disused.
(This immersion into computer writing happened mostly because of readability. My thoughts have always raced so much further ahead of my fingers that my handwriting is cramped, tiny, and painful to decipher. My eyes, and the eyes of everyone who had to read what I wrote, figuratively danced for joy when I started typing.)
I keep reminding myself to be thankful I don’t live a few hundred years ago. Imagine trying to write a novel with a quill pen!
And no way will I start using candles to light my paper. I’ve done that before, when we lost electricity for two weeks following an ice storm. Never again.
I may be old-fashioned, but not that much.