Day 83 – Writing longhand is quite a different experience

Day eighty-three of my 365 Day Writing Project.

Words: 1,250

What I wrote today turned out to be a combination of pages I wrote longhand last night and what I added as I transcribed today. I didn’t have my laptop last night so I went the old school route and pulled out a notepad. I sharpened a nice No. 2 soft lead pencil and sat down to write like I used to do long ago. It was wild.

Until last night, every page of the book I am writing has originated by me typing into a Word document. To experience writing longhand again was eye-opening in many ways. First, it was tiring. My hand literally got tired and cramped. I had to shake it out and stretch it several times. Second, it was slow. I couldn’t get the words down as fast as I am used to when I type. My thoughts were outrunning my hand’s ability to scribe by a mile. Third, it was more connective. Something about the smooth motions, curling the letters and designing the words on the page gave me a deeper connection to them. It was like I was creating the words at the same time I created the story.

It was a cool experience. But to be honest, it isn’t one I will likely repeat too often. Having to transcribe today what I had written the day before put me in the position of editing while I wrote. If you have been following my blog you know this is something I have been working hard to avoid. I simply couldn’t avoid it today when I was typing the words from yesterday because I had a day of perspective to see weaknesses in the writing. I couldn’t type those parts as they were. I had to change them. So I edited and tweaked and typed. Everything turned out well, but it definitely took away from my free-flowing writing time.

As always, its validity rules the day: Write now, edit later.