After five months of working on the 2nd draft of my novel, I'm back in writing short stories. Fear not, I will pick the novel back up after a month or two has elapsed.
Last night, I was reminded of how much I love writing by hand. I've written about four pages on a yellow pad, and the words just flowed out as if I broke a spigot inside my brain. It was a meditative writing session, and I couldn't contain myself even as I write this entry. There is a huge difference between writing with ink and writing through a keyboard.
I had thought about buying a typewriter once, but I imagined that would be cumbersome and loud. Plus, I'm too cheap and lazy to maintain it. Instead of fantasizing about the clickity-clack and ding of a typewriter, I opted for pen and paper.
When I was a kid, I wrote everything with pen and paper: my stories, poems and some doodles that went at the back pages of my notebooks in school. Even with a computer at home, I still did my stories with ink until I started writing scripts. Those went on the computer. I remember downloading a program called Dramatica so I can start writing serious.
That's when longhand fell out in vogue for me. As I wrote more, I started to believe that writing by hand would be a waste of time because you have to transcribe what you wrote into a MS Word document. So the cycle continued by typing out words upon words upon words, sometimes feeling drained every session.
Recently, something just snapped in me. I thought about why I wrote, why I wanted to tell stories. This soul-searching led me back to those days in grade school and high school, drawing and writing stuff in the back of my notebook whenever I was bored in class. And so I returned to my creative roots and started writing with pen and paper again.
I had to relearn writing by hand since it looked like chicken scratch. But I'm making progress, and I think I'm getting better at it. Then again, I'm the only one who could decipher it. My 'e's look like 'c's and my 'r's look like 'n's. Still, I can tell them apart.
I wrote the first draft of my novel by hand, and I plan on continuing to do so. Some professional writers do so to this day: Quentin Tarantino, Neil Gaiman, Joe Hill, JK Rowling to name a few. Even though it's a slow process compared to typing it up, it's all about the immersion I experience whenever I put pen to paper.