Pens and Pencils
When was the last time you wrote something substantive — a letter, a story, a journal entry, etc. — by hand? Could you ever imagine returning to a pre-keyboard era?
With a pen and paper, I am writing two drafts for my blog right now. I may or may not publish, depends how it goes. With a pen, I record every book I read in a notebook along with a short or long description and/or page reference to quotes that catch my eye. Also I do handwrite a few letters once in awhile.
My handwriting is horrible. Writing by hand helps me weed out more poorly written stuff. My crappy handwriting looks bad on the page and I can sniff out more stuff that sounds bad too. Stuff that looks bad in my opinion, you may say it’s all bad!
Everything looks pretty good on a typed computer screen. Looks great. Send. Publish. But looking good isn’t always good. Sometimes I think I should have waited and thought it out more. Even a great sentence looks like it needs revision when it is written in chicken scratch. Revise till you puke.
Also writing by hand feels more personal to me. No one else knows what I’m writing. (Unless there is a camera over there somewhere.) It’s all mine for a short time before it gets transmitted over the computer somewhere. Or it is all mine forever if I never commit it to a screen. It makes me feel a bit rebellious. So much of our lives are in the Internet loop, this one bit is free.
No data gathering, no key word search, no one else in my head. Until the machine begins to reside within my head?
Perhaps the blank page with pen or pencil will incite the rebel cause of the future to break free of the machine. That is if there are any people left that care about this kind of thing.