Come on, you bastard. Type.

typewriter.jpgI hate typing. I wrote a 70,000+ word novel and I hate typing. I am working on an even larger book now, and I hate typing. Hate hate hate. Type type type. Writing vs. typing. It is a problem.
I write everything out long-hand. Let me clarify that: I write all my fiction out long-hand. Work related stuff (my 9 to 5 office job requires memo and business e-mail writing) I do on the keyboard right from the start. They post was written using the keyboard. But my fiction, she is different.
My wife gets on me about this. “If you typed as you wrote you wouldn’t have to type it, it would already be typed and you could move on to the editing.” And if I ate as I cooked then I wouldn’t have to sit down for the meal. By the time the meal was prepared it would have been eaten. I don’t do that. I cook, then I eat. They are separate processes, they require different skills and can distract and kill the enjoyment if blended to much. I don’t type and write either, for much the same reason. I have a writing part of my brain and a typing part. They don’t particularly like one another.
When I write out long-hand I notice that my sentences are more complex, and my thoughts and writing seem to flow at about the same speed. When I type, it’s in little bursts. Three words. Two. One. Four. Then three again. Stopping and starting. My sentences are shorter. Like a telegram STOP Writing in spurts is like driving over speed bumps. It slows me down, breaks my rhythm. I become very aware of the process, of the stopping; I feel as if I’m not getting anything done because I keep stop looking stop away stop from stop the screen. Not so with the pen. It flows. The fact that my writing flows from the pen and from the pen is comforting. The habit of pulling out the journal, the pen, getting it on my lap in the right way, getting comfortable in my seat, getting the pen against the bump in my middle finger, all of that is like a runner warming up before taking that first step. It puts my mind at ease, I know what I’m in for, and I’m ready to go.
So, I write. Then I type. And I hate typing. Hate hate hate. Type type type.
To make matters worse, my handwriting is pretty much unreadable. Like a drunk doctor’s scrawl, it’s really bad. Sometimes it looks like a drawing of the ocean. Wave wave wave. But that’s a post for another day. I don’t want to type anymore.

4 thoughts on “Come on, you bastard. Type.

  1. I’ve just about lost the ability to write longhand. The first reaction from old(er) folks is to blame those gol danged computers, but I didn’t learn how to type until grade 10. Until then, I struggled like crazy with my printing and writing. I was slow. I was sloppy. Teachers docked marks for “neatness” all the time.
    Now I type 90 wpm and it’s the only way I can keep up with my thoughts. I do still keep a notebook to jot down ideas, but yeesh. It’s painful to look at.

  2. Nadia, my reaction to my handwriting is embarrassment and amazement, as if some alien came in through the window and is trying to leave me some sort of message. And I too learned to type in the 10th grade. We’re a part of that “in between” generation: I don’t consider myself as having “grown up” with computers, but I am certainly not afraid of them. My father, on the other hand, hasn’t come out from behind his sofa since the DVD player was brought into the house.

  3. Yes, it does. I’ve gotten pretty good at turning off my inner critic so my first, long-hand draft is rough in places which I iron out in the typing, before I really even consider it “making a revision.” In a sense I have a “pre-draft” which is the long-hand version, then my “first draft” which is the typed version.

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