Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Perfect Cursive

Okay, so I'm very dull tonight. It was a rather tiresome Monday, and although I've broken 20,000 words for NaNoWriMo, I think the target for the timeframe is to be at 25,000. So I'm a bit behind. And of course, reading is falling by the wayside at this point, which is a shame.

I was wondering how many of you sometimes write longhand. I hardly ever do it anymore, though I try to carry a notebook with me just in case I have some thought, or some perfect line, or some similar type of inspiration that dawns on me at an inopportune moment.

I know that some of you write on the go and at times value a change of scenery. So do you use a laptop or a writing pad? Just curious.

It's so funny, because as a teenager, I loved to write everything out longhand and couldn't imagine anything more tiresome than the keyboard. However, as fate would have it, I took a typing class and my very first job was as a typist, so I'm damn fast with the keystrokes. (The other variable was the advent of word processors and computers.) It all sort of fell into place, and I was able to effectively cut out the middle man, which handwritten prose became. But I do remember that at one time, the only way I could "feel" the words and the story flow was with a pen and paper. (In fact, I fancied I thought much better that way.) Now, I can't imagine how to troubleshoot without conveniences like cut and paste.

Any thoughts? I hope everybody's gotten their week rolling on a positive note!



Blogger Maktaaq said...

MaikoPunk & I were just talking about that tonight. I used to write longhand but I found I was taking out words or using odd abbreviations. I write about ten words a minute whereas I type 40-50 words a minute.

I find I write better if I write a linear story, so I should be willing to forego cut & paste. But I am powerless without my keyboard.

I am looking for a laptop or something writerly that I can lug around with me. Because I am falling so behind in my word count.

2:47 AM  
Blogger Hebdomeros said...

I do everything by hand initially. My blog is about the only thing I write straight into the computer. For me, I write too fast on the computer. I lose detail. Taking more time forces me to come up with better descriptions, and my mind wanders a bit as I write which can sometimes lead to interesting territories. From there I type it into the computer, editing as I go, and then edit some more both on screen and from hard copies. But maybe all this is why I'm so damn slow in finishing things.

8:19 AM  
Blogger LadyLitBlitzin said...

Hey guys,

Maktaaq: yeah, I've fallen way behind in my word count too. I am definitely coveting a laptop right now. And I'm definitely a faster typist than a longhand writer... and in fact, I got rid of the giant callous on my middle finger I used to have from writing too much since the computer age. How funny that I tapped into a recent conversation!

Hebdomeros, that's cool that you still write it out longhand. That's interesting -- that you feel that you lose detail doing it on the computer. Whatever works, you know?

However, it's looking like tonight I won't get any writing done, longhand, typed, or otherwise... sigh!

10:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting post as I spent a good deal of Monday writing out a letter in cursive. I haven't used cursive since about 10th grade but my son is learning it in school and made a point of requesting that I write to him "like a big kid". Took me damn near forever.

With writing, at present, I use a legal pad and pencil, my handwriting is long and spidery and I often can't read it when I go back to edit but I've no choice, the keyboard on my laptop is too damn small. Plus I drive four hours a day, so alot of this so-called writing is done with the paper in my lap and at least one eye on the road.

Normally ... keyboard all the way, too hard for my fingers to keep up otherwise.

Either one is a better alternative than chipping runes in a rock or pressing characters into clay tablets.


2:41 PM  
Blogger LadyLitBlitzin said...

Hey Brian,

Yeah, come to think of it, I don't think I've written in actual, official cursive since school. Now my handwriting is some sort of amalgamation of cursive and print. (Hate to think what the handwriting analysis would yield.) I do remember not being allowed to take the pen off the paper!

And ha, yeah, it is better than chipping away on tablets!

7:33 PM  
Blogger Prentiss Riddle said...

At a weblogger meetup the other night we were discussing the benefits of desktops vs. laptops and one person said he had to have a laptop for writing so he could get a change of scenery and avoid the distractions of the net. Someone else said they can't even do that now that they've discovered WiFi. Our consensus was that a writer needs a used old laptop with no wireless or network connection, just a floppy drive. Someone even had a specific model in mind, a TRS-80 Model 100 with a four-line text display, no GUI.

Actually, come to think of it, I remember seeing someone at a conference once with a Palm hooked up to one of those folding keyboards. If the keyboard was good enough to get your WPM up there, that could be just the ticket.

Much geekier than what you wanted to hear, I'm sure.

8:53 PM  
Blogger LadyLitBlitzin said...

Hi Prentiss,

Thanks for stopping by -- and no, that's not geeky at all. I am of the opinion that I'd love to have a laptop and WiFi and be writing furiously at some coffee shop while surfing the Web, though you brought out a good point -- the Net can be a bit of a distraction and for some, a totally disconnected laptop is probably the best route to concentrating on your writing. Especially if you have an instant messenger program open... that's not always conducive to pure creativity.

6:11 PM  
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1:59 PM  

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