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  • Hollis Jo McCollum

Taking the long way around

When it comes to writing, I am guilty of doing things the old fashioned way. Many of my friends will watch me carrying around my leather bound journals, writing entire novels by hand, and they feel compelled to ask: "Why don't you just type it instead?"

To be fair, they have a point. It takes me about twice as long (logistically speaking) to get a novel written because I first write it all by hand, then I type it. So, why don't I just skip a step and go straight to typing?

First of all, I do what I want. Secondly, I can't really get my creative juices flowing banging away at a keyboard. There's nothing quite like good, old fashioned pen and paper. Don't get me wrong, I've tried to write on a computer, but it just doesn't put me in the right mood. I get the best work out of myself when I'm physically writing the story. There is a connection there...the smell of ink and paper gives you something to gain your knowledge gives the ideas more texture and makes them tangible as the words flow through you. Writing on a computer lacks this experience entirely for me. There is no smell of paper and ink, no feel of the pen in your hand and mild roughness of the pages. It simply stunts my creativity. How could I possibly write under such conditions? It feels a bit like an artist's prison to write on a computer, if you ask me.

There's nothing necessarily wrong with writing on a computer if that is what pulls your best work out of your brain; however, if you find that you are plagued by constantly writing and rewriting your work because it's just never where you want it to be, then perhaps consider that old pen and paper approach. Maybe taking the long way around will be your saving grace as a writer as well.

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