A few months ago, I went to the bookstore and bought a journal. I knew I would like this journal, because I'd bought one just like it in a different color a year prior and used it for random thoughts and ideas and venting about life and writing. Then I was struck one day with the idea of carrying around a journal especially for the writing project on which I've been working for the last four years. I took it straight to the library, sat down at a table in front of a large, glass window looking on a small, grassy opening beside the building, and began to write. Only, the writing came in spastic spurts of sentences. I would sit, boggled by where to start. Once I put pen on paper that was it, it was done. There was no erasing, no backspacing. Sure I could scratch out, but I might go the whole journal having nothing but a bunch of scratched out, illegible sentences instead of a novel. I was completely disheartened, and the journal has been sitting on my bookshelf ever since.
But, I've been thinking... If Mark Twain and Charles Dickens and Jane Austen were able to write full-length novels by hand, on paper, and if Kristin Hannah is even doing it in this day and age, certainly I should be able to manage as well. I once wrote a blog post on an old blog that is no longer being updated, about the benefits of writing longhand, and I do love to write longhand, especially when journaling. In fact, I won't journal any other way now. So, why is it so hard for me to write a story longhand? I make excuses that I can type faster and get my thoughts out easier on a computer, but wouldn't writing longhand force me to write slowly, think about what I'm putting down before I write it, and make sure that the ideas in my head actually make sense on paper?
I'm going to give it a shot, anyhow. At least writing my story by hand will force me to step away from the computer and engage with nothing but my mind and the steady looping of my pen.
How do you write? Longhand? Computer? Typewriter?