Sunday, October 10, 2010

Writing In Longhand

This weekend I had the luxury of writing longhand in an espresso drive-through turned cafe on the coast. Actually, make that cafe expansion tastefully added onto the long side of a drive-through. The cafe was narrow, but wide enough to accommodate a truncated bar and some tables. Luckily, the stereo was low, and alternated between manic "let's dance while I sing risque words", and "I'm depressed that you don't love me (which is my fault)" music.

I think what helped was that there was not enough room in the cafe for any major distractions. Okay, and the rain was coming down sideways, so even if I did want to go outside, I would have gotten blown halfway Newport.

I wrote in longhand using an archival ink pen into my small black sketch book there for about three hours. What I noticed the most was that my hands didn't out-pace my thoughts. Word processors, which I love, sometimes make it to easy to write what I want; and then the sentence looks at me and sort of says, "Now What?"

Using the pen and page, I was able to kind of work ahead of the transcribing process, with the result that my writing was less stop-and-go than it is with the keyboard. When I was ready for a break, I sketched little pictures for a few minutes and then got back into the writing.

Um, yes; for once the stories that other patrons were telling sparked story ideas (instead of being irritatingly distracting). And I suppose the cocoa helped, too.

PS: Thank you, Mark, for letting me have a large chunk of time!
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