December 27, 2008: Old School

I like technology; I like flinging myself at new software and figuring it out. That’s part of the reason I’ve downloaded all that software in the last week couple of weeks.

One of the programs I downloaded was Freemind, free mind-mapping software. Fooling around with it made me realize something I’ve only been marginally aware of: software is fun, but paper and pen are key. At this point, it’s easier for me to use pen and paper as I figure out my mapping process, than use a software program.

But it goes beyond that. I do almost all my writing in longhand. Most of my blog posts — including this one — are written out longhand, then typed in. I’m to the point where I can’t write my first draft of a scene on the computer. I have to write it out longhand.

Part of what drives this is how portable paper and pen are. I keep a Moleskine Volant Large Ruled Notebook in my purse, so any time anything occurs to me, I can capture it. Even if I had a tiny netbook, it wouldn’t be as light or as convenient as my simple paper and pen.

But even beyond that, I love the physical experience of writing with pen and paper. I love feeling the point of the pen as it moves across the page (which is why matching the two is so important), and I love the sight of my handwriting (even when it’s messy, like today).

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