Writing the old fashioned way

When I was preparing for my November Nanowrimo writing session this year, I decided to write my novel with pen and paper, rather than type it up on my computer.

There has always seemed something luxurious and magical about writing by hand. I find myself becoming so involved in the story that I don't stop to think 'what next' which fits in perfectly with the Nanowrimo ethic of 'just write'.

The temptation to read back is less, partly because of my ornate handwriting which becomes a mesh of loops when I'm writing quickly, but mostly because by writing the words down by hand, I've lived the experience of what I've created and it stays with me. There's no reason, therefore, to read back at this stage. Editing will come later.

The other delight in doing this, especially if like me you use a hardback pad to write in, is seeing your book literally unfold. It's not just a computer file to click on, it's a physical, graspable object that you can flick through to see page (hopefully) after page of your writing.

I have to admit that it isn't so easy to keep the word count but writing like this takes me back to the creative child I was who didn't worry about the length of a sentence or whether that should be a colon or a semi colon. I just wrote, without fear or judgement.

Have a go. Writing by hand is a skill many of us have lost in this age of affordable computers and mobile phone note applications. You may be pleasantly surprised at the results.

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