Wednesday, August 4, 2010

I Heart Pens

Sometimes I really wish I'd been born before computers, back in the days of typewriters, or even just normal parchment and quill, pen and paper. Seems to me that all the "real" writers -- the ones you read in school, were all living during that time. I don't know if this is just because the curricula (haha, two years of Latin coming in useful right there) of English classes doesn't get updated nearly as much as it should be, but it seems pretty backwards to me. English classes are supposed to present material to the students that makes them think, makes them more interested in reading similar books that have more to them between their covers than Twilight. Or even Harry Potter, and I grew up on Harry Potter. 

I don't know what it is about handwriting things, but it's different. When you type, it's impermanent. You can't feel it. It's there, in cyberspace, but it isn't there in the same way as pen and paper. Especially a pen. You can cross something out with a pen, but you can never get rid of it. It's always going to be there, no matter how much you try to forget it. It's imperfect and there's times when I think that's the purest form of whatever you're working on, the Shitty First Draft. SFD: brilliant term I picked up when reading Write by Karen E. Peterson.

It's a really interesting book about the psychology of writing and tricking your right brain (the creative side that laughs at all those writing schedules you try to make by making you check your email or type really long blog posts about how you should be writing instead) and left brain (the side of your brain that loves to make those schedules) into working together to make you write. 

Now that I'm pretty much without a computer, besides this laptop that's constantly begging me to clear space on my C Drive and needing to be plugged into the wall every two hours to recharge, I'm going to try to write everything by hand. At least for When the Stormbirds Fly. I've already bought an awesome pen (I need a mug that says I <3 Pens for when I'm writing) and a couple five subject notebooks. The way I see it, I have a drafting system built in. If I write it all out by hand, not only will my inner editor have to shut the hell up, but I'll already have a second draft when I go to type it all in.

So, here's to trying to write like the good ol' writers did it. Wish me luck. 

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