Why Not Both?
Quote of the Week:
"Darling, the moon is still the moon in all of its phases"
Welcome back to my blog, lovelies. Last week was about having the courage to write out our books in their ugly, first draft stage irregardless of how perfect we want them. This week, I want to talk about the way in which we write our books. Do you write longhand or digitally? Does it matter whether you do one or the other? Or, are you one of the few mythical writers left who writes on a typewriter? Whichever the case, sometimes how we choose to approach writing our stories can have a large impact on the way they are written.
For instance, when I was a senior in high school, I took a college English class to try and earn extra credit early on for my education. Overachiever, I know, but the majority of my high school class took it so I wasn't the only one. Besides, I'm a writer, we overachieve at writing most things. The class itself was, unfortunately, not very interesting. A basic composition class, my interest was often vague at best regarding the lectures. One day, however, I remember learning that we should pay more attention to the way we write on the computer versus the way we write on paper. At first, I thought this was a strange and somewhat ridiculous suggestion. I use words to express myself in either situation, surely it's not that different? However, I went on to learn that our brains actually approach work differently when that work is on a computer versus a piece of paper. Our beautiful minds process input and function in a different way than it does when we read or write on paper. On some level, our minds understand there is a basic difference between writing on a screen versus a page.
Intrigued, I began to pay more attention to the writing I did on my laptop versus my notebook. At home, I nearly always wrote on my laptop. I was able to write faster and more clearly on a laptop. However, I did keep a small notebook on me when I went out. I'd often stop to scribble down a scene in that notebook, and a number of stories of mine have been born from a small scene jotted down between its blue bindings. After that day in class, I decided to go back through my writing and try to see what the difference was. Now that I was aware of it, the answer leapt out almost immediately. That is, the tone. When I write on the computer, my tone takes on a different sound than it does when I write longhand. There are some instances where I preferred the tone of a scene I had written longhand versus when I took it down digitally. Without realizing it, I had crafted two different writing tones in my young career.
After this realization, I began to use this to bolster my story writing in a new way. While I still write a majority of my work on my laptop because it's faster, I also still write specific scenes longhand. Some scene ideas I will purposefully write first in my notebook to utilize that tone. Then, I transcribe the scene from longhand onto my computer to polish the scene while keeping the initial tone. This has worked rather well for some of my stories.
Now, this is not to say writing one way is inherently better than the other. Either approach has its merits. However, writing longhand is inherently different to writing digitally. The purpose in writing this blog, is to encourage my fellow writers to take time to consider using both means of writing. Over time, I've even learned to somewhat meld the two tones of my writing into either approach to some degree. It is unlikely, however, that I will ever fully abandon one method for the other.
There are a number of studies that have been done in order to try and decipher how it is different to write longhand versus on the computer. Since the 90's, researchers have had a vague sense that there is a difference but none have truly nailed down the how and why of it all. For me, I don't need to know all the gritty details of why my notebook sounds different to my computer. I simply know why and how to use it. So, I encourage you to take a second look at those wild notes strewn about your writing desk. Take time to study them and compare them to your digital work. How are they different? How are they the same? Discover more about yourself—the writer—and use it more to your advantage going forward. How we choose to approach our writing has a much larger impact than you may have initially believed.
Thank you for stopping by, everyone. If you enjoyed this, heart and share this post with others. It means a lot to me if you do. If you have ideas or questions, feel free to comment them down below. Signing up down below will also notify you when I post new blog additions. Thank you again, lovelies, have a wonderful week!
Word of the Week:
Effable (adj) - capable of being uttered or expressed