I’ve switched from editing on my computer to editing in a notebook. I suppose it isn’t “editing”, per se. It’s more of jotting down ideas as I read along. But it’s something different. And it’s something good.
The thing is that I don’t often write with a pen and paper. Even if I have something short I want to remember, I usually type it down in Notes on my phone. Every now and then, I’ll write my mother a quick note to tell her that I’ve gone out. But even that can be done by text message. So, no, I don’t often write with a pen and paper.
But since I’ve started again, I’m finding something special about it. It doesn’t transport me back to the Good Ole Days when I filled page after page, book after book. Words don’t spill out of me for hours on end. If anything, I’ve found I can only write this way now in short bursts. There is, however, an intimacy with those words that was lacking on the computer.
For one, I see the pen float along the page, using a writing style that is my own; not a font created by someone else.
For another, I can actually feel the pen marking the paper. Gliding across it. Scratching in places. And that’s a lot different than the uniform clack of the keyboard and the letters that instantly appear on my computer screen.
But I think it’s more than that as well.
It takes effort to write with a pen a paper (my hand definitely needs to stretch after a while). It takes creativity (especially when a word gets to the end of the page before it’s finished). I even need to find the perfect spot to place the book so that the pages don’t flop over (which isn’t so easy when I’m just using a small coffee table that my computer is already on).
All of which is good.
It has helped me reach my story in a new way. Helped me feel a closeness to it that had been missing.
I’m even tempted now to draw maps and pictures of my characters. I’m not the best of artists, I’ll admit. But I definitely think it’ll get me that much closer to the story.
And all because I picked up a pen.