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For the Love of Longhand

What? I can hear some out there now. Longhand? What is this archaic word she uses? We know not this term. If this happens to be you, let me bring you up to speed - or rather, back in time. Longhand is the lost art of writing with pen and paper. No technology involved. And yes, I do spend a good chunk of my writing time, writing in longhand.

Computers came to me when I was in college. Before this time, we wrote our words out with pen, or if we were lucky and proficient enough (and could afford one), we used a typewriter. Oh boy, remember those days? With the advent of computers, life changed for every writer out there. Keyboards became friendlier, monitors easier to see and manipulate, and the programs became out of this world. Make a mistake, no problem, just backspace. You meant that paragraph to go down there, no problem, just cut and paste. And the list of writers-ease can go on and on.

I use these tools, don't let me fool you. I love sitting at my desk and blissfully typing away for hours - or as long as my hands/wrists will feel okay doing so. But from the time I could write my ABC's, I have always loved to write the same way I read: in comfort. I like to lay in the bed and write. I like to curl up on the couch and write. Sometimes I'll spread my papers on the dining room table and write. Then there's going places. The doctor's offices, the kids activities, rainy camping trips. Okay, I know there is technology out there that I could use in all these places, but it's not the same.

People who know me are not surprised to see me with a notebook in hand and a purse full of pens and pencils. I scribble constantly where ever I am. And about the places-around-the-home writing, sometimes I simply don't want to haul my laptop to the bed. I can't type the same; I've tried. You can't snuggle down with a keyboard in your curled up lap like you can a spiral notebook.

I don't write like this for everything, just those times when I need a keyboard break. Every time I do this, the next day I'll sit at the computer and my fingers will fly without breath as I take what I've handwritten and put it into a computer file. I use this as a first-round edit call as well. As I'm typing, if I don't like something I've handwritten, I'll go ahead and type the lines the way I know they'll be better. My method may seem tedious to some, but it works for me. Oftentimes, when I'm feeling really blocked by something in a story, abandoning the computer and heading off with pen and paper works wonders to open the walls. A change of pace, I suppose.

What about you? Am I the only one still upholding the art of longhand - or are there others out there like me, who still cling to this age-old method? I really want to know.

Thanks for stopping by, and here's to a wonderful Wednesday to all~


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