The Longhand Method

Not a method, per se, but an alternative to not being able to be in your prime writing spot. While yesterday, sitting securely in my secluded writing lair, I was able to test out the Pomodoro method with respect to my writing and found it to be a great motivator. Today I didn’t have that luxury.

OK, sure. I have a phone and I could have just used the timer on my phone and done the same thing. But that’s not the point. The point is that I’ve been wanting to try out different methods, tricks, techniques to get the writing done, so I would have no excuse to…get the writing done. So nyah!

Anyway, I have always enjoyed writing longhand. It’s great for brainstorming and actually pretty useful in the first draft phase as well. I find myself wanting to immediately fix typos and other mistakes while I am typing and, if I were to find a keylogger, suddenly my “Backspace” hits would start inching up and up and up. I also don’t feel as if I’m a particularly efficient typist. Plus, my nails are too long today and I can’t stand the feeling of them hitting the keys when I type.

Note: I am particular about pens, unless I am desperate, but don’t let that imply that I have to buy some sort of expensive froo-froo pen. My personal favorite, as of right now, is the Pentel EnerGel. Why am I telling you this? I really like these pens!

But the main reason I wrote roughly 900 words longhand today was opportunity. I had meetings this morning and knew I would not be at my computer for a while, and since my energy drains as the day moves on, I spent a half hour in between meetings to get words on the page. I have just typed those pages up. 899. Boom.

One of the benefits, for me at least, about longhand is the ease with which I move on from a mistake. While, theoretically it’s much faster to hit Backspace than it is to scribble out a misspelled word, psychologically, the scribbling feeds into the frenetic energy of the writing session. I feel as if there is a far thinner barrier between my brain and the pen than my brain and the keyboard. Part of the issue is while writing longhand, I only have to pay attention to one hand. Typing reminds me of piano lessons.

So, a short stint, writing longhand, has been added to my writing toolbox, along side Pomodoro (which I will use again tomorrow) and Scrivener. I plan to pack that sucker full by the end of this book.