Some of you may remember my post a while back about handwriting my books. It’s a habit that has served me well, and I’ve just finished my fourth book written this way: legal pads and slant-tipped sign pens. I have no way to prove quantitatively that writing this way promotes my creativity, but it would certainly seem to. Never before have I written four books in only thirteen months. But that could be a fluke, right?
When I began this handwriting journey, as soon as I had transcribed the words from the pad to the computer, I tossed the pad into the recycle bin. The text was safely embedded in Word; I didn’t need the handwritten words any more. It was my husband’s idea that I save them. For posterity, he said. Yeah, like anyone’s going to care, I thought, but I did start saving them. Then, with my last book, I got another idea. I wrote down the date I started each pad. I had always taken casual note of how long it took me to write a book, sometimes nine months, sometimes three, but I never clocked it exactly. This time, when I finished the book, I actually figured out the word count of each pad and using the dates, calculated how many words a day I was writing. Continue reading “How Fast Do You Write?”
Back in December, I wrote about handwriting your book before typing it on the computer. We had quite a lively discussion about it, and I was pleased to see that many authors share my love of pens and the way they feel and write. In that vein, I decided to do a little round-up of pens.
Let me note here that I did not go out and buy every pen that people mentioned in the comments of that post. Writing the article, however, and the comments that followed did provide enough momentum for me to finally restock my dwindling supply of pens. In addition to that, my husband bought several different kinds and stuffed my Christmas stocking with them, so I am now well supplied. Here are the top candidates in my limited and very biased study. Continue reading “Handwriting Your Book – Choosing a Pen”
I’m guessing that most of us are always on the outlook for ways to increase our productivity, to open wider to inspiration, and get/keep the ideas flowing. But writing, like any art, is a process that defies capture, that eludes attempts to analyze, to reduce, to constrain. What works for one person won’t work for the next. All we can do is keep trying new things, or simply keep doing what has worked for us in the past. On a whim, I wrote my latest book in longhand.
What do the creative processes of Truman Capote, Joyce Carol Oates, Vladimir Nabokov, JK Rowling, Jackie Collins, and Quentin Tarantino have in common? Each of these brilliant writers prefers, or preferred, the slower process of writing by hand. Truman Capote wrote lying down, très louche. Joyce Carol Oates is never without a pencil and a small pad of paper. Vladimir Nabokov wrote on index cards, and then moved them around to test the flow of scenes — a sort of cut and paste. JK Rowling prefers to write her first drafts by hand, as does Jackie Collins: her last manuscript topping out at a whopping 2000 pages of cursive. And Quentin Tarantino, the uber-talented creative genius, writes his screenplays by hand. Continue reading “Cursive’s Connection to Creativity”