Penned In

It’s been a Pen on Paper kind of day, week, month…project.

For those of you that know me, you know that I love writing longhand. If you know that, then you know I can’t do it for very long. My fingers will start to go numb and my already sketchy handwriting will stutter into illegibility.

Yet I keep doing it – indeed, I’m drafting this post longhand. Why?

For me, part of the joy of writing longhand is sensory. I love the feel of the nib on the paper, and the soft scritch it makes. This was a rare thing to get when writing with a ballpoint but, with a fountain pen, it’s a rare constant. I don’t think it would be much of an exaggeration to say that my love of writing longhand was rekindled the first time I wrote with a fountain pen.

But numb fingers aren’t something to ignore. If nothing else, it’s an (un)natural limit on my productivity.

In addition to other distractions (I’m listening to Japan v. Ireland at the Rugby World Cup) while drafting this, I’ve had to stop twice (so far) to shake the feeling back into my fingers.

Despite this, I’ve felt the draw to work longhand more on Queen’s Will than I have on any other project.

So far, I’ve written longhand on every aspect of this project. Now I’m not going to kid myself into thinking that I’m going to write the entire first draft longhand when I get there (I’m working on Characters right now), but I will probably write the entire first pass of the “Outline” that way – if not the subsequent passes.

Why the difference? I don’t know exactly. Certainly part of it is related to the enjoyment I get out of writing longhand – as I mentioned above. Another part is that working like this feels more deliberate. Slower. More of a mixture of art and craft.

There’s only one constant in…well, just about everything, but I’m talking about writing here. that constant is change. You change. You develop new strategies. You level up…

You find what works for you (Maybe it’s new, maybe it’s not new…yet) and when you find it, you run with it for as long as you can, knowing that in the end, there’ll be something new waiting for you to discover.

See you on Thursday!

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Weird Wild West

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