I have a terrible confession to make. It is so uncool, so throwback, so… just plain not cool that you may unfollow me in Instagram AND Twitter. You may even do the same thing with Facebook. (Which reminds me: Better update my page!) But… BUT I need to get this off my chest and steel myself for all kinds of comments (the warm, fuzzy, witty ones are most welcome). So here it is:
I prefer typewriter over computer in writing my stories. But since I no longer have a typewriter, I write my stories longhand instead. How nutty is that? All I need is to turn off all the lights, grab a quill and ink, light a couple of candles, and then put on some old-fashioned clothes.
It’s true, though. I’m not sure what it is that makes me not churn out stories the way I do when I try typing on the keyboard. (Although I suspect science has an explanation. Science ALWAYS has an explanation to nearly everything.) When I write longhand, I love the feel of the pen scratching out words and eventually stringing sentences together, coming alive in a fresh notebook page (lines not too narrow but not too spaced far apart, either). It’s like my ideas, my thoughts flow freely from mind to my fingers to the pen, and then down to the paper. It’s like magic before my very eyes.
And when I type out something using a loud but loved typewriter, I feel a sense of accomplishment. Each and every “click!’ and “clack!” of the letters as my fingers hit them is music to my ears. And there’s this inexplicable feeling I get when I have to go hit that thing on the side so I’ll be able to type out my next line. It goes “ding!” and I feel flutters in my stomach, the good kind. Even when I accidentally hit the space between two letters and jam my finger there, resulting to me wincing and silently streaming curses, I still like using the typewriter.
I may not have exactly churned out the next big fiction with my writing but the act of writing itself with tools I feel I can connect with makes writing all the more exhilarating and delicious. Although it is not to say I haven’t written using the computer, because I did. (In fact, here’s one of my favorites. Oh, the shameless plugging!) It’s just that I feel more comfortable, more in my element when I either write longhand or use the typewriter. What about you? What’s your preference? And while were at it, why that particular tool/s? I would love to hear from fellow writers/bloggers.
As a deeply pondered afterthought, here is something from Chuck Wendig that you might enjoy: “Dear Writers, None of Us Know What the Fuck We’re Doing.”
It’s not just about the writing — writing is, itself, not a difficult task. Like I said: tippy-tappy typey-typey and ta-da, you wrote something. But the problem lies in the hurricane winds of bewilderment that roar and whirl around that central act. What’s good writing? What are the rules? What is your voice? What’s everyone else doing? Will you get published? Agent? Editor? Self-published? What’s good storytelling? What the hell is a genre and why does it matter? Whoza? Wuzza? Why am I doing this? Why does my soul feel this way? Do I want to cry? Am I crying? I’m crying. I’m eating Cheezits at 3AM and I don’t have a shirt on and I wrote another short story and it’s probably not any good or maybe it’s really good I don’t know AHHHH I don’t have any context at all for anything that I’m doing. – Chuck Wendig, Dear Writers, None of Us Know What the Fuck We’re Doing