2015 NaNoWriMo Day 6: Typing vs. Writing by Hand

Today was a procrastination day, but at least it was active procrastination. I cleaned up my apartment, caught up with my mom, who’s been away for awhile, did some social media sharing for my blog, and ventured deeper into the lands of NaNoWriMo’s community. Ooh, and I checked out books from my JC’s library for the first time! My ID number is officially in the library system..!

Recently, my class finished The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian, by Sherman Alexie, and our professor gave us some choices for what to read next. Most of my classmates are going with The Left Hand of Darkness, by Ursula K. Le Guin, which was our original class-read, until it changed it to Alexie’s novel. I’m going to read it, but I wanted to read one of the other offerings too.

I chose The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho, as it immediately called my attention. There might be a little bit of subconscious attraction to the word “alchemist,” courtesy of “Fullmetal Alchemist,” but the way our teacher described the book drew me in. In another class, she classified it as a wonderful spiritual journey, and told us to read it if we enjoy thinking about spirituality.

Last Tuesday, she went around the classroom asking us what our final pick is, and almost all of us choose The Left Hand of Darkness. Myself included. I felt a bit pressured and followed the herd, but when other classmates began choosing different books, they inspired me to speak up. Well, first I asked my boyfriend if he would read The Alchemist with me first, as the goal of this reading is to have lively discussion over the books. When he agreed, I waited for an opportunity to switch books as well. We all made our teacher proud, filling the room with a little more diversity. Yay~

In NaNo news….. it’s such a challenge this year! I’ve been a poor writer, and a poor reader, for awhile now. I’ve been out of practice, and we all know that’s the quickest and simplest way to dull out your writerly sword. Or pen. We have choices.

My voice feels lost in an abyss of black and white. I might try some hand writing tomorrow, as my ideas flow better when I have a pen and paper. I used to do all my writing like that, when I was little. I stopped for the clean and convenient way of typing. There’s also the celebrated undo button. Typing has its gains, but alongside writing by hand, typing is not the best option.

There is a type of flow when handwriting. When there is a sudden influx of ideas pouring out of the mind, bleeding through ink onto the page, writing feels so easy and flawless. When I type, if I make a mistake, it sends me back in time, and a little bit of my story’s future gets lost in that. But on pen and paper I merely scribble away my mistake and continue that flow, hardly disturbed. On paper, there are no red squiggles that distract from your ideas. And on paper, it’s easy to jot down any plot ideas or notes you have in the margins. Online, it’s a bit more complicated.

I’m not bias towards pen and paper… 100%. A little, most likely, but not completely. Again, typing is clean, and it’s obviously convenient (well, depending on where you want to pull out your laptop or other small writing device). If I want to move a single bit of prose, that’s a simple command of X (cut) and V (copy), regarding no scribbles or arrows or carrots. No mess. I can get it done immediately. Lastly, and most obviously, there is no comparison of convenience when it comes to typing versus traditional writing during NaNoWriMo. Last year for CampNaNoWriMo, July 2014, I wrote on paper and carefully counted each word. While it sounds simple, it becomes quite the task when done over and over again. And then I start doubted my word count. Concluding that typing beats pen and paper, regarding NaNoWriMo.

At the word “at,” I am at 9,990 words in my count today. I’m going to catch up to the 10k! Wow, that was unexpected. ~hugs blog and readers~ Thank you! Despite NaNoWriMo proving a challenge this year, I’m happy it pushed me into blogging. While I know it’s not perfect, I look forward to sharing more ideas and meeting other bloggers.

And, of course, at the heart and center of it all, I look forward to pressing on with my novel, as challenging as it can be, and see where the story goes!

Happy Writing!

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