Picked Up a Pen

File_000I’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.


4 thoughts on “Picked Up a Pen

  1. lgould171784 September 1, 2016 / 9:33 am

    Glad to hear it. I didn’t grow up writing on a computer or a phone, so I will never give up pencil and paper entirely.

    • Michael McManamon September 1, 2016 / 9:40 am

      Yeah, I don’t think I could write a full manuscript that way. But it definitely has a nice feel to it for the shorter stuff.

  2. Niels Saunders September 2, 2016 / 5:22 am

    Interesting blog! If I’m having trouble with a scene, I often print it and write it all out in pen. It’s amazing how often it works.

    • Michael McManamon September 2, 2016 / 8:16 am

      It’s definitely amazing how approaching things through a different medium helps. Seriously, I’m thinking of drawing, or even making music, to see how much further I can get into things. Thanks for the comment. Good luck with your writing!

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