Friday, February 29, 2008

Spiral Notebook and the Rolling Ball Pen of Justice

I was sitting here, staring at the screen, and feeling altogether slightly intimidated about what I should write today. I was actually looking forward to writing my post this morning but for one reason or another it just wasn't working out. That's when I decided to do what I sometimes do when I get stuck while writing a story. I took out a notebook and one of my favorite pens and here we are, working our way to a half-decent blog entry.
The notebook and pen method suits me. In fact, laugh if you must, if I haven't written in a long time I often find myself struck with a compelling sense that I need a new notebook or pack of pens whenever I'm at the store. Never mind the ten empty notebooks I have at home. It's a compulsion, a compulsion that often wins - much to my wife's amusement.
I'm not sure exactly what it is about changing mediums that helps me to coerce my thoughts to come forward. It could have something to do with the constant editing I often find myself doing if I'm typing in a word processing program or interface. It would be better to keep writing and then come back to make corrections afterwards, I know this, I just can't help but try to correct something I think is wrong the instant I see it. Physically writing something out stops that inclination at least to a manageable degree. It isn't always foolproof though. Sometimes I get so caught up in my thoughts that I find I'm skipping to the next word while halfway through the last. This usually results in stopping and correcting the mistake, which can also throw me off my track.
All in all, writing longhand isn't necessarily better than typing. I can type much faster than I can write and when I'm typing I'm not worried about how sloppy my penmanship gets when I write really fast. Also, writing longhand makes my fingers tired after a while. It's been a long time since I was in High School and taking notes in nearly every class. Now most of my work is done on the computer.
The important thing here isn't which method is better. Whether you're typing on a computer, a generic word processor, or even a typewriter or if you choose the pen and paper approach, the point is that you're writing.

So, the point of this post is that changing your writing medium can help you get out of the funk and get your mind working. I've already mentioned using music as a tool to fuel your writing, what are some other devices you've used to kick-start your projects?

Writing Exercise:

1 comment:

Serena Woods said...

I laughed when I read your blog because I do the same thing. I go to Barnes and Noble and get a cool new journal and a pack of my favorite pens. There's something about an empty notebook that holds so much potential for a writer, it's like the little kid who thinks his new tennis shoes can make him run faster.

I get inspired by music, too. Acutally, I wrote my blog 'The Upheaval' after listening to John Lennon's 'Imagine'.

Other than those to examples that you mentioned, there's nothing like an old fashioned emotional tragedy to inspire some of the best creativity.

So, here's to an emotional tragedy and a best seller. ;)