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hand writing, pen and paper, taking notes April 26, 2011

Posted by mattfarmer in writing.
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I have many note books. There is always one in my pocket, one in which ever bag I am carrying, and one by my computer. Pens are many, but you can never find a blue or black one when you need it. I swear I have 4 red pens in my broken coffee mug over there.

One of the first things I was taught, by a writer, is to have pen and paper handy for when inspiration strikes. The notepad I have is the North American format. I bought some in Canada. They open sideways, like a book, rather than upwards, like they do in Australia. Ever notice that? Strange. I have looked everywhere and I cannot find small note pads that open outwards like a book, in Australia. Even that bastion of glorious stationary Geek heaven- Office Works. They don’t have one either.

This just means my friends in Canada have to send me resupply note pads once a year. Its the only way 🙂 And its the only format which will fit my awesome hand-made leather notepad holder.

But I have started this blog entry because, in this age of technology, I am noticing less and less people, that I know, writing down notes and ideas with pen on paper. I see them being used all the time, at work in particular, but elsewhere, not so much.

I am currently building ideas for my Steampunk world. And the first thing I am doing is putting pen to paper, writing scrawly notes. Plot points, thought clouds, with lines linking them between them. I know, at the time of writing them down and joining them, they make sense. Bring me back 2 weeks later and its all gobbly-gook. However, the IDEAS are still good, and I find new ways to link them. The runaway slaves suddenly become the forbidden lovers. This gives me a common thread to pull people through the story. It gives me two protagonists as well, which I was having trouble searching for. It gives me a link between two worlds. It gives me something.

The something it gives me I don’t think I would have seen if I had been sitting at a computer tapping in thoughts to a notepad. Call it a romantic notion, but I feel a connection to something when I hand write it. There is more work involved, there is a sound of pen scratching on paper. It feels like a personal investment into something. I am writing this down, it must be important.

I see a lot of things taking us away from pen and paper. Don’t get me wrong, I love technology and gadgets. I know that if I was writing books before word processors, I probably wouldn’t. But I see e-readers, tablet computers, i-pods with note pads (which I use), and laptops and netbooks, all used for writing.

Now do not get me wrong here. If this works for people, and it gets them writing, I am all for it. Do what you need to do to get your ideas from your brain into words. I am just reacting to a friend of mine, who knows  I write but is not a writer themselves, seeing me writing with pen and paper and asking- who does that anymore?