I vowed after translating the majority of my last novel out of notebooks, journals, napkins, and scraps of paper, I’d never hand write another book. I struggled, at times, to decipher sloppy cursive passages I’d scribbled at the end of a long work day. After translating most of it and learning the joys of trying not to self-edit as I type (something I’ve already done a million and one times to this simple blog post) I felt comfortable writing at length on my laptop. Hearing the clack of the keys as my fingers flew in an attempt to capture all of my wild thoughts became a simple pleasure. A night cap, if you will.
So, why am I drawn to start almost every new project by committing pen to paper? I’m back in the same tortuous loop of decryption! It’s laborious. It almost feels like a waste of writing time. But is it? The muses seem to strike best when I’m conversing with my characters and letting their dialogue flow across the page, as though I’m their therapist taking notes while they speak to me from whatever seat happens to be in the room. I don’t go back and self-edit, it’s more stream of consciousness writing. In some small way, the same feeling I get from my fingers tapping on keys, I get from keeping my cursive skills alive on the page.
I know I’ll be cursing in a couple of days or weeks when I start my conversion to the computer. Hand writing anything seems so analog today in the digital world. Maybe it’ll be a nice keepsake down the road, the scraps of writing from a crazed mind. And maybe it’ll be fuel for a backyard fire. Either way, as the ink flows, the hope is the words will too, and then the click of the keys will sound. All things which equal a happy writer.