I love to write. I’ve admitted as much. However sit me at a keyboard facing a screen with an eagerly waiting word processing window open and I feel my creative juices oozing away into a puddle on the floor.
And so an admission. I love to write … with pen and paper. I find my mind flows with greater clarity when my hand is etching the words and ink is flowing. The paper catches my words as they siphon from the mush of my mind. Yet I sit here scratching my head for how is this any different from a keyboard? Why does my creativity wane when the pen is eliminated from the fictional writing process?
Psychologically perhaps, as a child who grew up without the option of computers as a writing aid until the primitive green screened beasts at high school. (Yes – believe it or not computer screens once only displayed everything in one colour; at my school they just happened to be green!) Was my mind trained such in those formative years that now my creativity associates itself best with the act of using a pen? With the movement of the hand across paper as opposed to fingers over the keyboard?
Whatever it is, I write all of my fictional work by pen before transcribing it to the computer. I even participate in NANOWRIMO in this fashion; Write first, type later. It’s double dipping, and yet it is also a form of proof reading and editing as even the prose on paper does not necessarily reach the inner sanctum of the computer’s hard drive unchanged.
With this blog I try to spin my thoughts straight into the keyboard without the aid of pen and paper. The struggle it gives when I find myself stuck looking at the screen can often be long and frustrating although always, no matter how bad the writing, worthwhile. As I think of it, perhaps it is a form of training that one day I will cast away the pen and only the keyboard will remain … NAH!
I cross out a lot as I write, as the words become visual and the sentences demand to be reformed before me. There is a comfort in the scratching and errors. The errant words underneath are not redundant as they remind me of the wrong directions and thoughts gone awry. A simple freedom that would be a chore with the keyboard. I find myself looking back at the crossed out sentences and words often finding inspiration from them as my stories evolve and grow.
Whilst I know there is no right or wrong way to write I still can not but help to wonder if others look at me oddly as I sit with my paper notebook writing feverishly with a pen while they do the same tapping the keyboards of their digital notebooks.
Are you a pen or keyboard writer? Am I alone in my crazy writing processes?