For the past week or so I’ve been writing in a notebook rather than sitting at the computer to get my words down. This stemmed from me having to work extra days at my day job in the lead up to Christmas. I’m a graphic designer so I stare at a computer screen all day. On most work days, the thought of going anywhere near the computer when I get home makes me cringe. What’s even worse, it makes my writing feel like a chore.
Another reason why I thought I’d get back to basics is because I felt disconnected to my writing. I felt like I’d lost touch and was simply going through the motions and not producing quality work. Picking up a pen and writing on paper has let me free my thoughts, and given me the chance to write with abandon—mistakes and all. Everything is raw on the page. There’s no delete button.
Sometimes I wonder if we are slowly losing the art of writing, letting it get lost amongst all the pixels and images, and ease of the digital world. Writing on paper is an art in itself, and one I have really enjoyed exploring again.
|These are some of the notebooks in my collection. |
I admit I’m a notebook hoarder.
I used to worry that I wouldn’t be able to read what I’d written after I’d written it, but I think no matter how messy our handwriting is, our brains have an uncanny way of deciphering our own thoughts. I used to envy those who have beautiful and neat handwriting, and I’ve tried relentlessly to write neatly and make mine pretty. I often start out neat, but then it turns into a messy scrawl because my hand can’t keep up with my brain. This would be my only downfall when it comes to writing with pen and paper, because I look back and think, Wow! What a mess! But I’ve also come to appreciate that I can write and still read it afterwards, and I’ve changed my mindset to view my notebooks as objects of beauty, filled with imagination and ideas, rather than a mess of miss-formed words.
From my experience, I think writing with pen and paper is a good exercise that every writer should do on a regular basis. It’s a lot nicer watching the ink flow from a pen than watching a cursor flash on a white screen. Writing on paper can help unblock our minds, and get our ideas and thoughts flowing freely. If you find you’re having trouble with your current WIP and feel stuck, why not try using a notebook instead? You might be surprised at how much it can help.