Notebooking it



I’ve been talking a lot about my struggles as I reach the end of my first WIP. Well, I was getting a lot of advice, and a lot of that talked about writing by hand. I resisted, but the other day I finally gave in, and I love it!

What really convinced me was the fact that it was ridiculously hot in my apartment, and while I wanted to write, I didn’t want to sit in my hot office, in the hot office chair, with a hot computer. So I grabbed my notebook, which I use mainly for random notes and outlining, a new pen, and headed into my bedroom where I turned on the A/C window unit and sat on the floor in front of it listening to The Pierces, and then I started to write. 6 pages later and over 1,000 words, I had a revelation!

I felt like a lot of the pressure was lifted, writing was no longer a job, but something enjoyable (which is what it should feel like). There was just something about letting the words flow right from me onto the paper. I wasn’t watching the word count in the bottom left corner of the document, or the clock in the bottom right corner, I was just writing. And without any of that pressure, it was so much easier. I’ve been doing this for the last few days too, and it’s still proving to be a bit easier and much more enjoyable than just typing away. The one downside is indeed having to then type it all into the document anyway, as it takes more time, but I am also able to have a rough editing session at the same time, changing words that I couldn’t find in the moment of writing, changing a mannerism, altering a sentence structure to help the flow. Why wasn’t I doing this sooner?

And while it has helped me get my word count up, and get closer to the end, I did have to trash a big section yesterday. I had jumped ahead and written a scene a while ago when I was in Camp NaNo, and it just doesn’t work anymore. I’m ok with trashing it, it needed to happen, but it was a little blow to see over 1,000 drop from my word count. I am pretty confident in my new process though, and I hope to be complete (or as complete as I can get this go around) with my story by next week.

Now, I know some of you out there are proponents of handwriting, if so what appeals to you about it. And if not, why?



4 thoughts on “Notebooking it

  1. I find that I can write in a much more cohesive manner when the words are coming out of a pen than a keyboard. I have notebooks and sheaves of paper filled with random scribblings, diagrams, and words to really help me wrap my head around what I’m trying to say. Sometimes I like to doodle or go in depth on a description in a way that isn’t impacting the overall arc of the story.
    Also, I just want to say that cutting a scene totally sucks but I’m sure your story will be much better in the long run because of it šŸ™‚


    • I feel the same, I don’t know what it is exactly, but it just feels so much easier to write on paper. Maybe because typing feels so final? And once I start going through my rough draft I feel like there will be a lot of cutting!


  2. I handwrote a bunch of scenes a few nights ago while I was on CQ, and it was slightly amazing. I used to do it all the time – and you’re right about the process, having that second chance to rearrange and roughly edit things as you’re typing up the scene you wrote. Hey, you know, whatever works! Happy you’re making progress.


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