Nowadays, nearly everyone uses a keyboard when they need to write something down. Especially writers, when they’re writing their books. It’s logical as well. It’s faster, easier to edit and you will need it typed up in the end anyway. For years, I have always written everything down on my keyboard as well, but lately I have found it incredibly difficult to write on my books as long as I’m near my laptop.
Somehow, writing by hand has fixed that.
I have always carried a notebook with me, but only for writing down ideas until I could get to a computer. Sometimes in class, I would do some actual writing in my notebook as well, but it has never been the way I preferred to do it. After all, it’s a hassle not being able to just delete and rewrite a sentence, and it’s just a bore to have to type it all up later. But actually, writing by hand seems to make my writing flow easier!
Lately, I have had no motivation to sit down by my computer and type. I think it might have something to do with all the distractions it provides me, and the fact that I always have so many things I ought to do while my computer is turned on. I should check my email, get back to the people who have sent me messages, check 117 different social networks, get around to promoting my books and so many other things it makes me dizzy. It’s not really good for the creative process to be at a keyboard!
The times I have forced myself to write, I have found myself staring at the cursor for an eternity, not feeling like writing anything at all. But that never happens if I’m writing with old-fashioned pen and paper.
I don’t have to feel inspired, or even motivated, because as soon as I open my notebook, I’m able to write. My hand just moves and words form underneath the tip of my pen, and I just write. I don’t analyze every sentence, go back to edit while I’m still writing or end up running myself into a corner. I just write, and it’s so freeing!
While having taking a long break from writing Silent Sound because my computer seemed to suck any will to write out of me, I suddenly have notebooks filled with entire chapters just because I started writing on paper instead. I find myself packing my writing tools in my bag everytime I go somewhere, because maybe, just maybe, I will have time to sit down somewhere to write without distractions.
The summer also helps. I don’t have to decide between writing or enjoying the weather. Why not take the dogs with me to the forest and sit down on a bench there while they play in the grass? The fresh air definitely doesn’t hurt the creativity either.
Of course there’s drawbacks too. My fingers always start cramping, but I stubbornly keeps writing until I can’t use my hand anymore. For some reason, it’s more important to me to finish up a part if I’m writing it on paper and I always end up hurting myself.
It’s also easier to forget your surroundings. At the convention I attended in May, I sat down at one point to relax with some writing and I must have been really caught up in it, because at some point I looked up to see a friend of my mine watching me from across the table. He scared the crap out of me! I had not known he was there at all, and apparently he had been sitting there for a while. He thought it was funny that I was so caught up in writing that I hadn’t noticed him sit down at all…
He might have thought it was hilarious, but I kept looking up from what I was doing nervously for the duration of the con. This should be a rule: Never stare at people when they write. Ever. It creeps them out.