Monday, November 30, 2009

The Handwriting of a First Grader and Other Random Thoughts from Unplugged Week

Yes, this is my actual handwriting and
 my actual notebook with my actual
rough draft drivel on it.

As some of you are aware I "unplugged" a few weeks ago so I could focus more time on my rough draft.  When I sat down to the computer all psyched and ready - can you guess what happened?  Nothing.  Nothing would come.  My fingers hovered above the keyboard twitching to type...something...anything, but nothing was all I got.  My head began to ache from the pressure building inside.  I tried to convince myself to stay calm - the words didn't need to be perfect.  The cold, pale computer screen loomed before me, daring me to type a word so that it could chew it up and spit it out.  

That's when I stepped away from my computer and grabbed a notebook and pen.  I normally don't like to freehand because as you can see - I have the handwriting of a first grader.  But I shoved past the embarrasing scribbles and began to write.  It was great.  The pressure I felt to write amazing and perfect prose left me and I allowed myself to just write.  The beautiful mess above is a sample of my creative abandon.  I'm mostly pleased with the results:

Day one: 948 words
Day two: 807 words
Day three: 965 words
Day four: 300 words and edited short story
Day five: burned out - blogged about it here.
Day six: edited short story.
Day seven: I don't write on Sundays.

Since I wrote the words first and then typed them into the computer - does that count as double the words written?  I think it should. It's a great way to do a little bit of editing and clean-up as well - just don't go overboard.

I recommend the pen and paper method to anyone who is having a hard time letting themselves write because their too busy trying to edit. This method also helped me stay unplugged.  I wasn't near the computer so I couldn't check out facebook or read other blogs during my writing time.  It was a win, win situation. 

There's something else I discovered during unplugged week.  I'm not sure if I should admit this, but I'm going to risk being shunned and say it anyway -  I got bored of writing.  Maybe bored isn't the right word.  I don't think I'm the type of person who needs to write all the time to be happy.  I enjoy it for a little while and then I want to do something else.  I enjoy the creative process of brainstorming and researching, but when it comes to the actual writing part I get burned out.  Writing doesn't come easy for me.  My story is perfect in my head and it's so frustrating when I can't write the scene the way I picture it in my mind.  Probably all writers feel the same way.  If it was easy everyone would do it, right? Anyway I think I've decided that right now writing for me is nothing more than a creative outlet.  I don't need to do it all the time and if days go by where I don't write I'm not going to feel guilty about it. 

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Mine was nice after an emotional week.  Thank you so much to all of you who offered condolences and sympathy in regards to my dog.  I appreciate this new found blogging community so much.  You are all awesome!


Juju at Tales of said...

I love my computer but there's just nothing like a pen and paper.

Anonymous said...

I just came across your blog via a comment you left for Dreams of Quill and ink. I am so glad I came to visit you - I enjoyed your article about pen and paper. I live in the south of France and my most productive writing is done with a pen and paper in cafes. Typing it up afterwards is when it gets edited. I will be following you!