Old School Draft Writing

I found myself recently drafting blog thoughts on paper, and it dawned on me that I couldn’t remember the last time that I’d sat somewhere and written with paper and pen, rather than with keyboard and computer. It was oddly unique in that I do it so infrequently and it was surprisingly enjoyable in a way that I would not have anticipated.

How this could be possible? I use a notepad at work and plenty of post it notes at home and I know I write every day. But when I really thought about it, all I write with pen and paper is lists. Grocery lists, task lists, blog idea lists, wish lists.

This was purely writing for the sake of writing. I was sitting outside at a picnic table, the wind blowing slightly, the sky a bit grey but at least not raining, with a clipboard and one blank piece of computer/copy paper and a black pen. I was sure that it was going to be frustrating thinking it would take longer to get my thoughts out hand-writing than typing. I’m glad to say, I was wrong.

This is how it all came about. (In case you’re interested.)

Don and I were out running errands after watching King Korn. In-between conversation, or rather while I trailed around after him in the hardware store (the vortex that is Home Depot and my personal bane), I was mentally drafting my Movie Monday blog and trying to sort through my thoughts on King Korn hoping that I might manage to hold on to a few nuggets of insight that I could jot down later. After Home Depot, we stopped by Don’s office/shop so he could do a quick something, which I knew as going to take 10-15 minutes to his, “it’ll just take a sec.” I thought I might as well use the time while I waited and asked if I could use one of the computers to outline some of my thoughts. He said sure but then reminded me that it might take 15 minutes just to boot up the computer. (Don’t ask.) He offered me pen and paper and I’m pretty sure I looked at him like he had sprouted two heads. For a split second I felt myself internally cringe. In the next second, I wondered at myself. When did I become so above writing by hand? I used to love it back in the day when there wasn’t a computer, laptop, netbook, ipad, tablet pc, or smartphone within an arms reachI tried to cover my initial reaction (I’m not sure if Don noticed it or not) and accepted the rudimentary implements that I’ve grown so distant from and re-acquainted myself. I’m glad I did.

In the end it did perhaps take longer to write a draft on paper first. It took me time to type up my notes and then to re-write a few things as I went along. Still, it seems like something I should do from time to time. It was peaceful and strangely meditative in a way that writing at my computer is not.

We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospection.
~ Anais Nin


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