Monday, July 25, 2011

Going old-school

Unfortunately, today went a little bonkers on me, with my return to university. So now will only be a short post.

Since spending more time on reading, on thinking about writing a bit more, things are looking up. Today I transferred my fourth WiP (Doorways being WiP1) to a notebook so that I can draft by hand. It's a system that definitely works for me. And Mr. King gave another piece of advice that I think is very valid.

Draft with your door closed.

To me that makes sense even though I don't have my own writing space (yet). As writers, we have to spend our first days with our ideas alone. Without outside influences affecting what we write. Or... distracting us.

I generally use earphones to drown out the distracting sounds, but I don't stay off of the Internet. And now that I think about it, that might not be the best thing ever.

So I'm going old tech. No Internet crouching in my note book. Just ink in my pen.

Of course, it also has the additional benefit of giving me a break from my internal editor... 

Any other long-handers out there? Why or why not? What is your favorite drafting medium/program?

31 comments:

Summer Ross said...

I'm a long hander as you put it. LOL It soothes me to write that way. Though with classes I can't do it that way with homework.

Regina said...

I love writing long hand. I think it brings out my creativity and I can be inspired longer than staring a screen and keyboard. I go through a lot of paper and pens.

L.G.Smith said...

I always write my first drafts by hand. You're right, the internet is too distracting. If I get away from the computer I do better at letting the ideas flow. Also, there is something more personal and intimate about writing with a pen in a notebook, at least for me.

M Pax said...

I can't read my writing and type faster than I write. I prefer editing by hand and doing stuff like world building and inventing characters, queries, etc ... Weird how that works.

I need to turn the internet off more often. Hope you're having fun in your class.

Jessica Lei Silva said...

I type much, much faster than I can write by hand, and I'm the kind of girl who likes things done quickly :) If I was drafting by hand, it would be all sorts of haste! And my handwriting would become illegible after awhile, too.

Susan Oloier said...

I used to be a long-hander. I hated writing on the computer. But somewhere along the line, writing by hand started to hurt my wrist, so I switched to typing. I don't think I could return to writing things out.
I need to close my office door. The kids interrupt me every time I write. I'm lucky if I can get two sentences down before an interruption. That's why it's late-night writing for me.

Odie Langley said...

I prefer the keyboard to a pen.

Brooke R. Busse said...

I used to always write everything out and then type it onto the computer for convenience. I've recently started using the computer to write and now I find it harder to write longhand.

anthony stemke said...

I used to always write longhand before typing, but after awhile I could see that the keyboard was much more efficient.
Now I shun pen and paper for keyboard.

li said...

I draft in longhand, then type the actual piece. I find the ideas flow much better with a good pen and paper; but I type much faster, and of course spellcheck is a great bonus for the final copy.

Maria Zannini said...

I have to use a keyboard now. My arthritis won't let me hold an implement for very long.

Beth said...

I only longhand by necessity.
bethfred.com

Terry W. Ervin II said...

I sometimes write in a spiral notebook when my wife is driving and we're in the car for a long span. Away from the computer does have benefits.

LynNerd said...

I used to write everything in longhand, mixed with Gregg shorthand, too! That was before I got a laptop, which I love. I now realize that I hate working at a desk, and that's why I used to prefer longhand, but now I can type on the laptop anywhere, and it's much faster. But sometimes I still write bits and pieces in longhand. Sounds like things are falling into place for you, Misha. Yay for you taking a class. Have fun!

Jessica R. Patch said...

Wow! Longhand! I hate writing! My penmanship stinks. Even if I did write it that way, I'd never know what I wrote after.

I do go offline to write. How was your first day back at University? :)

Laura Josephsen said...

I use long hand! Not as much now that I have a laptop again, but I have a box of notebooks full of writing from the past eight years or so. ;)

Hope you're able to focus and get some good time with your book!

Danette said...

I have been trying to get away from the computer for my 1st draft. I find that I have been getting to distracted by all the other stuff that is available. If I head outside with pen and paper, I get more done! Then I get more rewriting done when I put it in the computer too! I am hoping I can get some writing done over my lunch hour this way too. Good luck to you and hopefully we'll both see some success!

Duncan D. Horne said...

I write in long-hand. Never even thought about doing it any other way!

Duncan In Kuantan

Jake Henegan said...

I plan/plot longhand, but if I had to write an entire draft with a pen, my hand would be unusable for the foreseeable future.

kelworthfiles said...

Let's see. I always have to 'write' with my fingers on a keyboard - partly because I can't read my own handwriting or printing very well, never mind anybody else. But also, the process of telling a story is wired into the motions of typing to me, not a pen or pencil in my hand.

I don't generally have to worry about distractions at home, and I've gotten good at writing on a bus or train as long as I've got headphones in and music playing.

I should probably try writing without internet on more at home, as long as I've got an offline wikipedia or something for looking up details. But if I'm in the mood to write, then usually the internet doesn't distract too much.

Thanks for sharing this insight into your process!


If you get a chance, check out a fellow writer's zombie story and help me make him wear an embarrassing shirt next year! Details are here:
http://kelworthfiles.wordpress.com/2011/07/19/prove-the-zombies-wrong-social-platforms-can-build-readership/

E.C. Smith said...

Congrats on heading back to school! And don't you love just love Stephen King's book "On Writing"? I have the audio version, and I find myself going back and listening to it every once in a while.

Michael Offutt said...

I've never tried drafting long-hand. It sounds really tedious to me.

Patti said...

I've tried editing by long hand, but I find that I just go back to the computer and do it that way.

Sometimes when I'm not getting a scene, I'll write it out on paper and I find that helps.

Bish Denham said...

I brain-storm, take notes, write back-story, research and outline in long hand. But arthritis in the first joint of my first finger of my writing right hand doesn't let me write out a whole novel by hand, much as I would love to. I've had to train myself to the computer which was quite a job in itself.

I do have to have it quiet though. Music, particularly with lyrics is a huge distraction.

Rosalind Adam said...

When I want to write something from scratch (rather than editing) I always use my beautiful ink pen and paper. It never fails to inspire me. Not sure about turning off the Internet though. A step too far for me!!! lol

Michelle Fayard said...

My handwriting is so horrible, I have to use Word. And I also must close the door when I need to concentrate, something our kitties try to understand but never will like. :)

Heather said...

I don't like to write by hand too much but I do have to close all other internet windows when I'm writing or I get distracted.

Rachna Chhabria said...

My first draft is always by long hand. I just love this method. :)

Ciara said...

I'm all computer now. I wrote my first book long hand. Won't happen again. :)

Wendy. Blog Author said...

You on the money about the internet Mish. So distracting.

Julie said...

I don't write by hand much now, but I do love to print out my drafts and edit them with a pen. I seem to catch mistakes or problems much better when I am looking at a printed page as opposed to a computer.

Love the advice from King!