Old School Writing

Writing on my laptop wasn’t working for me. You see there were too many distractions: Twitter, Facebook, email, Ebay. I would permit myself to become distracted for hours wandering the internet before I got to actually writing. Then I would sit and stare at the computer screen. Sure I knew what my next scene was, and I knew my characters lines, but I just didn’t feel like writing. So I’d wander the internet some more before going to bed–late–after accomplishing nothing.

I will blame some of my willingness to wander on my limbo status. I’m still revising my manuscript and while my critique partner is reviewing it, I’m working on my second novel. I love the characters and story line for this novel, but self-doubt does tend to lead me astray. Why even work on a second novel  if the first isn’t out, kind of doubts. But in a rare occurence, I let my optimistic side come out and say, because everyone will love your first novel. You mustn’t keep them waiting for the second. So since I’m going to believe this, and because the story is bouncing around my head, I need to work to get it out between critique sessions. Yet as I stated before, I tend to internet wander.

I needed a solution. Enter a notebook. Yep, the simple tool that all writers apparently keep glued to their side, which I neglected to invest in. It’s a simple notebook made of recycled paper that doesn’t bleed ink. Win win situation! So one day during my lunch break, as my story nagged my brain like a two-year old calling “mommy”, I pulled out my notebook and began to write. Later that day as I waited for a meeting to start, I pulled out my notebook and wrote some more. No distractions, no Twitter, just me and my characters. Just like the old days when I wrote my first novels in high school.

That night I decided to ignore the call of the internet and type up what I had written. Can you believe I wrote 1500 words? I sure as hell couldn’t. So I began pulling out my notebook every day at lunch, at the hair salon and in between meetings. Every time I write I get over 1,000 words written. My creativity and productivity has gone through the roof.

Now, I know that this is a simple solution that most writers use, but for me it was an awakening. Since 3rd grade I’ve expressed my thoughts, good or bad, by writing in a journal. Writing by hand helps me to relax and clear my thoughts. I guess it should have been obvious to me that carrying a notebook and writing during my free time would help my creativity. I can be slow at times.

My little recycled notebook is almost full. I think that I’ll have to keep up this process from now on. Writing in a notebook is not a new idea, but for this writer, it was a smart idea.