The Keyboard and The Pen

The Keyboard and The Pen
Image: R!!Space

I seem to be growing tiredness mushrooms on my eyes the further into this week I get. I’m starting the days off in great spirit, then as the day wears on and I start to get ground down, I go home with an aching back, lost sparkle and eyes sprouting with tiredness fungi. It’s a real effort this week to sit down and write after all of that, but somehow I’m managing it.

I mixed things around last night, moving away from GATECRASH temporarily to do some other things. I wrote up some notes I scribbled down while reading Stephen King’s book, On Writing, and began penning next month’s newsletter. I never sent a May edition out, which was rather stupid of me because I realised I’ve still to announce the winner of the SILLY POEMS FOR WEE PEOPLE VOL.2 competition!

I’m still sorting out all the accepted work into the different up-coming issues of the Ranfurly Review. I’m full for the next two issues at least but I’m not closing down; submissions have been slow lately coming in and I need to open the field up more. I’m thinking a themed issue could be a good idea to spur some more interest.

Eventually, though, I did get back down to some writing, rewriting to be precise and the final version of GREENER. The characters and the story demanded it.

Diane’s comment on yesterday’s post got me thinking. She mentioned how she does “everything in hard copy and always print scripts. Typing and word processing are an unnecessary evil as far as I’m concerned. Not only do you spot more things in hard copy, it’s better for the eyesight as uses a different set of muscles.”

I think writers vary greatly in this matter and I’m no different, some leaning more towards longhand and others towards electronic support wherever they may be. I’m a bit in the middle. I agree with Diane in that it is so much easier (and pleasurable) to write and read hard copy, and that the rate of error spotting shoots up dramatically when reading from the physical page. That’s why I always print off my manuscripts to run through them that way.

But as for writing longhand, it’s not something I practice on my larger pieces of work. For instance, I only write poems longhand into a notepad specifically assigned the purpose of receiving the words. Short stories I’ll vary; I’ll go where my mood takes me but lately I’ve been using a notepad and pencil more often than not.

Long fiction and novels, though, are different kettles of fish. When I get right into a piece of work I always find that I cannot keep up with my thoughts through the pen. Only typing gives me the speed to be able to transfer my thoughts onto the page before they are lost—and that’s my ultimate fear—that I lose a thought because I was too far behind. So that’s my main motivation: longhand for poetry and pleasure and a keyboard for the intensity that comes with writing a novel.

There’s another reason, which is if any of you have ever seen my handwriting will understand why a keyboard is preferable for producing prose. I do admire those who can write hours and hours through the pen and during intense periods of writing. When I get to that point, the most pleasurable point in the writing experience, I don’t tend to notice what I’m using to write with anyway. It’s all about the story at that point and the physical part of the process drops into automatic mode, almost instinctive, like blinking or breathing.

To today then, and there are some intense negotiations going on at the day job just now. Probably what’s contributing to my tiredness but I have a lunch on in the town for a lady in our department who is leaving so that should chill me out a bit. I’m hoping to be able to go, but if I don’t there’s another one tomorrow lunchtime for the rest of her team who are disbanding. Either way, I’ll get to say goodbye.

Have a great day folks. Peace and out!

The Scruffy Dog Review – SPRING ISSUE OUT NOW!!

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About Colin Galbraith

Keen runner, thriller author, Madness fan, Mets fan, St Mirren fan/owner, rabbit tamer, outstanding fake faller. Loves cannolis & espressos. #LFGM
This entry was posted in Books, Day Job, Fiction, I.T., Reading, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Keyboard and The Pen

  1. One of my many writing eccentricities is that if I start something on the computer, I need to keep working on the computer — except when I copy edit, I catch more mistakes on hard copy. When I start in longhand, I have to write the whole draft in longhand.

  2. Pingback: Gregg Shorthand Dictation 140wpm #2 — Tablet PC | Micro Digital Recorder

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