Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Numbers and Sentiment

I have been taking my writing semi-seriously since March 15, 2011. Yes, I remember the date. I also remember this date: April 12, 2012. That was when I began handwriting everything. But 2012 was a rough, tumultuous, insane year, and contained much more journaling and working-through-things than it did writing.

I have a new date to remember now. November 10, 2013. That's when I finally made the decision to ditch the notebooks and start working on a laptop again. I drove out to Pittsburgh with my dad for a funeral. I had a lot of thinking time to weigh the good versus the bad.

Everything boils down to this: Do I want to piss around and write fluffy things for fun? Or do I actually want to start making real progress? The truth is, I am much faster at typing than I am at writing. A night slaving over the notebook, hunched over and uncomfortable, may yield 800 words. I used my laptop on Saturday because my back was sore and I wanted to lay back in the recliner, and I hit 800 words in an hour. And I was so much more comfortable in that hour... seriously, SO much comfier.

Comfort isn't the only reason. In the notebook, I was constantly making notes in the margins, until no free space remained, because there was no way to fit it in between the paragraphs I had already wrote. I wrote, and then that was it. I couldn't expand, I couldn't describe, I couldn't rework anything until it made just enough sense to keep going. But now, I can mouse up and write in between paragraphs and write stream of consciousness just to get everything out and then it's a simple matter to clean up and make it readable. WHY IS THIS SO FREAKING REVOLUTIONARY?

It isn't revolutionary. I am a child of the technological age, and yet I insisted on keeping around these archaic notebooks. Looking back, it was solely because I was in love with the romance of it all. Penning my story, covering the pages, etc, etc. At this very moment I'm all TO HELL WITH YOU NOW! This is the age of antibiotics and streaming entertainment! Magical hoodoo computers in our pockets! Cameras that double as a communications device! What is this PAPER!? Remove this mummy-dung from my sight!

So. I'm done with the paper. I am sad, and I will likely want to go back to my wonderful notebooks, but I am not going to let myself. I am going to treat this like a professional, like the grown-up I'm pretending to be, like I have respect for this, more than just something I dabble in. I formatted my laptop to have a fresh start. (After backing everything up, of course. I'm not insane.) The journal, the calendar, the brainstorming, the drafts: they'll all live in the land of 1s and 0s now. I suddenly have this magical capability of backing up my work... if the house burns down or floods, it's possible I won't lose years of work.

But now for the horrendously overwhelming task of deciphering my handwriting and transcribing it into the typed document... *cries*

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