Tuesday, October 6, 2015
As those have been following New Age Mama already know, I am a published author as well as a blogger. I've had eight novels and several short stories published in the last four years. Whether I'm talking to other authors or fans, one of the things that always surprises them is the fact that I hand write my first draft. In this world of technology, they find it downright silly to waste my time with pen and paper, but I disagree, and these are just a few reasons why.
1) I can write faster in my own personal shorthand than I can with a keyboard. Even though I can type over ninety words a minute, I find that when I'm really in a creative frenzy, I'm able to get my thoughts down faster with a pen than with a keyboard. Spelling errors or sentence fragments aren't as much an issue on my first draft when I really just need to get my thoughts out on paper before the idea flits away. When I try to type at this point, I constantly get distracted by the little red squiggly lines and can lose my train of thought.
2) I can hand write anywhere! Being out in nature is the most inspirational setting for me. I love taking my notebook and pens out to a nature trail and finding a secluded spot or sitting in my beach chair as I look out at the ocean and letting my creative juices flow. Some may argue that I could take my laptop to these places, but with a pen and paper, I won't have to worry about my battery dying or destroying a valuable piece of equipment by getting sand in the gears.
3) I love the smell of ink. There is nothing like the aroma of a new notebook and fresh ink on the pages. It's intoxicating. I feel sorry for anyone who hasn't experienced this because they are plugged into a computer all the time. I even love having ink smudges on my fingers. They are like battle wounds I wear with pride because it means I had a productive day.
While I certainly have to turn to my computer eventually since I can't submit a hard written manuscript to my publisher, I will always begin my creative process with pen and paper. Call me old-fashioned, but I'll never trade in my pens. Even when I'm not writing novels, I still love getting a real handwritten note in the mail. Handwriting might be a dying art, but for me it's a treasure I'm not ready to let go of.