Discovering the Relevance of Words
My computer is broken.
There’s no need to get into details, but let’s just say that if you want to download an old video game you remember playing on Sega Genesis when you were twelve it’s not worth it to try and get it for free. Just pay for it. It’s like three bucks on Amazon.
Anyway, this is having a profound effect on my writing. I’ve always written on a computer. Now I’m trying to transition to longhand while I figure out my laptop situation, and it is not going well. I’m discovering things about my process that are a little disturbing.
My handwriting is terrible, first of all. Especially if I start writing quickly. The sentences will start out legible, but once I get into the flow the letters begin to devolve into alien squiggles that wander across the lines and create a spiral notebook of chaos that is impossible to maintain. For me, it takes patience and focus to write by hand. I have very little of those two things. If it took impulsivity and lack of mental discipline, I’d be all over it. But, as it is, all those legal pads I bought will remain a constant reminder of the fact that I am not Stephen King and will never literally pen a first draft. Because it takes forever and it makes my hand hurt.
Also, I edit as I write. Take this paragraph, for example. I probably wrote this paragraph three times before I decided, ‘eh’ and moved on. I don’t think before I write, I think as I write, which is what the delete key was made for. When I write on paper I end up with crossed out lines and whole pages scrapped to start again. I don’t like for there to be too much evidence of the process.
Of course, I suppose the keyboard and the pen aren’t exactly the only options anymore. There is also the pseudo-keyboard of the tablet and the smartphone. I shouldn’t even have to get into why that thing is terrible. I don’t even like it when people correct me. If this iPhone autocorrects one more thing I’m trying to type I’m gonna hold it underwater and see if Siri calls out for he mama.
Too much? I thought that might have been too much.
What about you? Can you write across mediums, or are you stuck on one?