I’ve begun to see several blog posts around about writing by hand. That is how I started because I hadn’t uncoupled my typing from my thinking. Now the typing is much faster and unconscious so I am able to think about the words and not where my fingers need to go. The speed is so much better, but I do miss the ‘by hand’ part of writing. I sometimes wonder if I should go back to it, but then realized that I am writing on borrowed time. I get up at 6 every morning just to have an hour or so to write before getting ready for my day job. I edit on my 30 minute lunch and my evenings are filled with dinner, family events and tiredness. That hour in the morning is golden, carved out time and it is essential to get as much down as I can and typing is, regrettably, the fastest way to get there. I usually get about 1200-1500 words in that time and there is no way I could do that by hand in the same time. I keep telling myself when I get to be a full time writer (when I sell a movie deal or a book hits the NYT bestseller list, it is good to dream big), that I will go back to that by hand first draft. The real me is not so sure, simply because I’ve become accustomed to the speed and I have so much to write and already have the bones of the next two novels rattling around in a bag in the corner of my mind, like the bones of Rebecca’s parents in “A Hundred Years of Solitude” along with a dozen more ideas. Speed is addictive and time is of the essence. I envy those who have the time to do it all first on real paper with a favorite pen or pencil.
The top photo shows the first draft of this post, which I wrote by hand in my journal. The second and seventh photos are images from Syllabus itself, and the other photos show you previously-blogged images from the nature journal I used to keep when I taught a first-year Thinking & Writing class called “The Art of Natural History” at Keene State College.