On Writing Alone

Writing is / can feel like a solitary adventure, going off to strange lands that you operate as a ghost in, exploring characters and rolling landscapes that you can only observe. The creative process is unique to everyone, and everyone experiences creative flow differently, but I’ve found this analogy of being a witness to the events, characters, or both to be commonly understood by creative writers. But from what angle, what side of things do you witness and build the narrative? This is where many people differ.

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Reflection | PLAY 001: Longhand Jam in the Woods

A few weeks back I posed myself a challenge: on a trip into Algonquin Park, I would spend my morning writing ritual doing so longhand and compare it to my usual experience writing by keyboard. It was an experiment in response to an (on-going) conversation James and I have about the skill, and it was quite eye-opening—just not in any of the ways I planned. Continue reading “Reflection | PLAY 001: Longhand Jam in the Woods”

PLAY 001: Longhand Jam in the Woods

I had a conversation with James last night (well, by the time you’re reading this, it will have been many days ago, but let’s just agree that “recently” James and I spoke) about writing by hand.

James has already written on this topic on Adventures in Storytelling in his article, No, You’re Analog! A Writer’s Strategy. If you haven’t read it yet, you should—there’s some great stuff in there—but as part of it he looks at the reasons why, as a writer, he prefers writing first drafts by hand.

In the comments, I added my own thoughts on why I don’t write by hand (despite loving the sensation of analogue). My main argument is that my hand can’t keep up with my thoughts when I write longhand. I need the “speed” of a keyboard to keep my thoughts flowing freely (and clearly). James rebutted with a question, “If we were to time the difference in speed between longhand and keyboarding, would we actually find a difference?” He’s confident the answer would be negligible. Continue reading “PLAY 001: Longhand Jam in the Woods”