The Magic of Longhand

Since I have a computer in L.A. I don’t travel between Santa Fe and Westlake with a computer.  I figure I can read and listen to music during travel times.  But on this trip home I had figured out the next scene and I badly wanted to get it down.

So I fell back on a technique I haven’t used in decades.  I took a notebook with me and wrote it out in longhand.  When I first started writing I did everything by hand and then transcribed it on the typewriter.  It takes double the time however so I taught myself how to compose on the typewriter.  Once I got a computer then composition at the machine was a breeze.  I could rewrite as I went, move scenes, make changes without the tyranny of the paper.

Still there was something almost magical about putting down the words by hand.  Cumbersome because I realized I needed several paragraphs that needed to go earlier so I had to write them, but a bracket around them and then draw an arrow to where they needed to go in the prose.

But it worked and now I’m sitting at the computer about to transcribe the scene onto the laptop and of course make changes and rewriting as I go.  It was proof that you don’t need all the fancy tech to write.  You just need the desire and the will.

As I’ve always said — writing is the one profession where you don’t have to get permission or pass an exam.  You just have to write.

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