Why I hand write versus type my first drafts
Call me old-fashioned, but even at my age, I prefer the written word over typing up something. I still write letters, notes, and thank-you cards, mainly because it just seems more fun that way. Why? Not exactly sure. My friends say I was born an 80-year-old woman, and I have to agree with them in a few instances, but there is a method to my madness.
Maybe you’ll agree, but maybe you won’t. Let’s dive right in, shall we?
- IT PREVENTS ME FROM PRE-EDITING
Writing in a notebook makes it that much harder to go back and edit extensively. Not saying it can’t be done, but it’s much harder to flip back and mark things out than to just scroll up and start butchering left and right. There’s nothing wrong with fixing minor errors, mind you. But large, developmental edits should be saved until the very end when there is a final product in your hands.
- IT HELPS ME CONCENTRATE
Less distraction = more writing. With the internet and my tiny brain, I am constantly fighting with myself to stay focused. Sure, they have meds for that, but I prefer the non-medicated Lissy when I write (Just by-the-by, I don’t condone any form of drug or substance abuse. Drugs are bad, so don’t go pilfering through your grandma’s medicine cabinet for those little orange heart pills. They’re bad, too). Notebooks tend to be less distracting, so onward I go.
- I GET TO FEED MY NOTEBOOK HABIT
It’s a disease, I admit it. I love nice notebooks, the Cambridge Mead brand in particular. They’re just lovely to have, and I love putting them on shelves once they’re filled to the brim with my words. There’s just something so satisfying about filling up a notebook. It’s like a mini-job-well-done. Can’t beat that.
- EASY TO SCRIBBLE IN NOTES
My brain is constantly spitting out new little details to be added, whether it’s later or earlier on in the manuscript – doesn’t matter. I’ll scribble that puppy in and once I’m done with the first draft, I’ll fill them in during the rewrite. This is definitely a point that I’m going to have people argue with me over, but, in my case, I find it easier to use margins for my notes rather than the note feature in Scrivener. *shrug*
- NO WORD COUNT
Word counts shouldn’t matter. They just shouldn’t. You need to focus on the first draft and get that baby done – word count, or not. Write until you finish. Handwriting allows me to avoid the constant pressure of checking for that word count. I focus on the story, and check the word count later.
- IT HELPS WITH MY EDITING PROCESS
I’ve already written an extensive post on my editing process, and I don’t plan on going through it all over again, but I do hop from notebook, to typewriter, then to computer so I can get thorough readings and edits done before any major developmental work. It’s just a part of my preferences I suppose.
It’s long, drawn out, and old-fashioned, but it’s how I do it. Now, for my favorite part of any blog post: The Discussion. So, I shall ask you all a couple of questions. What are your preferences as far as writing goes? Do you have notebooks dedicated to first drafts? Do you only use computers? Do you take advantage of typewriters? Let me know, and comment below!
Thanks for reading.
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