Starting early (in notebooks)

I’ve been itching to go for a while, I had stuck a notebook in my bag with the plan of writing out Destiny longhand during the commute, taking advantage of those large chunks of time. April just wasn’t coming fast enough, though.

destiny notebook

Then I realized that I make the rules, and I can start before April if I like. Yesterday and the day before, I got several pages written in my little notebook. I counted the words from the first day, dismayed to find that I only write about 600 words in an hour. That’s no problem; if I can make myself use the train ride every evening to get writing done, I won’t beat myself up over the word count. It’s supposed to be a unit I use to motivate myself, not some bar I hang too high above my head.

So I’m not sure how this will play into Camp NaNoWriMo, but I’m happy as long as I’m continually making progress with my story.

I find with writing longhand, I have more time to think about the words I’m putting down.  I give myself the chance to consider other choices, to cut phrases shorter, to spend more time imagining the scene unfolding rather than just plunking down words rapidly. I’ve decided that even if I can’t make it to 50,000 words in a month, I want to write this whole thing out longhand before I put anything on the computer. Then, as I’m typing, I can make quick changes and get a sort of second draft out of it.

Another advantage is the payoff of seeing my handwriting covering a page. I enjoy typing, and tweaking fonts and whatnot, but no matter how much I customize them, the letters on a screen lack the identity my own scribble has. I love when I really get into it and write quickly, my words becoming a jumbled scrawl that only I can decipher. There is also the plus of not having to struggle with formatting in different word processors; I can indent as I like, throw in dashes, special characters, etc. I’m decent at computers, but it can break my rhythm to take a minute to figure out how best to format a particular bit of writing.

There is also the mobility of a notebook, having the entirety of the project in one place regardless of whether I have a cell signal or remaining battery. I will probably keep my outline in the cloud for when I need to consult it, but it’s nice to not have my chapter summaries nearby. I feel like I have more freedom to deviate.

One thing that remains distracting is my music choice. I really need to get off my ass and make some playlists to write to. I have a few albums that have a nice mood, but I have to gather my favorites and put them all together. I’ll work on that this weekend to be ready for the train next week.

It feels good to be writing again.

(Also, thanks to WordPress for sending weekly e-mail reminders that I haven’t been meeting my posting goal. I find them encouraging and guilt-inspiring, making me want to think of something to say and come write about it.)

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