Friday, June 09, 2006

So funny I could've cried ...

I know this one has been doing the rounds but thought I'd post it too for anyone who might have missed it.
It has special resonance for me cos the guy's sitting on the balcony of a council flat ...
The trouble with living in a flat is that you can't be 'outside' but simultaneously 'at home', which is hardest in summer when the world beckons.
So I'm changing the way I write. After blogging I take a blanket and my pen and notebook (remember them?) and go out into the world beyond the balcony.
This is the way I always used to write. When I was working on Nirvana Bites I begged and borrowed laptops to type up the hand-written chunks I'd produced in the evenings lying on the settee and saved them onto floppy disks. I finished the book on the ancient DOS laptop someone gave me rather than throw away. It died literally after I finished the last words of the final draft.
When I got my advance, the first thing I did was buy my very own laptop, but I still continued to write in longhand. This gave me the freedom to write anywhere and everywhere. In the car (passenger - I don't drive), on the train, on a beach ... whenever and wherever the muse struck.
Let's hear it for pen and paper - the ultimate in convenience, portability, economy ...

14 comments:

Marie said...

I like to write straight onto my laptop - though I agree that with pen and paper you can write anywhere, and whenever the muse strikes. But I always carry a notebook and pen with me anyway just to jot down ideas, etc.

Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog.

Kath T said...

Let's here it for both. I find it easier to key into a computer when the ideas are with me and very easy for choping things around for more effect. But can't live with out bits of paper (usually bus tickets and receipts) for ideas and phone numbers. The phone numbers I usually lose and find 6 months later! Hope you are very refreshed after your holiday.

Minx said...

Also loved this clip, so relevent, so me!
I write on a lappy most of the time - that is for novels and the like. Poetry can only be written in long hand first - seems totally wrong to commit it to the screen sometimes.
I keep small books about my person to jot down ideas, phrases, lines etc - I have a collection of about 50 now.

skint writer said...

I always try and write with a good pen in a quality A4 line book, it's a much more organic experience than typing and editing at the same time.

When you write it down you've got a permanent record of raw creativity, you can't backspace or delete or delete paragraphs on a writing pad - yes I know you can scribble all over those words until they're obliterated, but you don't.

I love looking back over old notebooks, I've got some going back to my teenage years.

and it's not just the words of the finished stories and poems you get to keep, there's all the doodles and scribbles, notes to yourself, lines drawn between words or phrases defining relationships

When I did my poetry book, I included a couple of very old poems that I found in an ancient notebook

and sometimes when I need inspiration I can shffle through the old books and find new life in an old idea that didn't get developed at the time it was noted

help - stop me - I'm rambling

Minx said...

Think that's the longest comment you've ever dropped Skint - sun and beer syndrome?
And lines, how can you do lines, confining lines, entrapment. Set yourself free in the lineless zone, write upside down, diagonally, anywhere you like. Let your words wander across the page but I agree with the good pen!

Debi said...

Both then - for different reasons.
This could well be an example of how new technology gives us new options but can never replace the old ... a timely thought given GOB's prediction re the death of BOOKS.
Skint - ramble on. Don't ever stop ...

Sharon J said...

I don't have a fixed way of writing, it depends where I am and what's available. The easiest option is to type it straight into a Word document, but if I don't have a PC available, I'll write long-hand and then transfer the stuff to my 'proper' manuscript when I get home (and remember). I almost always have a notepad and pen handy (carry one in my handbag and have one in the car's glove compartment) but have been known to write on serviettes, loo paper or whatever happens to be handy. Writing on the back of tickets etc has taught me to write with the tiniest letters that others just don't understand. You need a really good pen to do that with, though.

skint writer said...

But the lines are there to be crossed minx, the tension between the apparent constriction of the lines and the desire to break free creates drama.

Minx said...

No, no, no. It took years of therapy to get me off lines. I will not be tempted back no matter how dramatic.

qaiz said...

it is, to me, the difference between seeing the picture of a beautiful woman and actually talking to her - same is the difference between typing up my words on a screen vs. actually laboring over the page to create the words...

and sometimes, depending on what just happened to me or what i'm thinking about, my penmanship may even seem a either a bit awkward or a bit classy and curvy.. sometimes i will write in anger and my feelings are transferred in the abrupt short strokes and all capital letters - in fact, it's easy for my significant-other to know exactly how i was feeling simply by looking at my penmanship..

i admire the pen and paper - they are yet another true extension of myself that a pc / typewriter can never be..

excellent post Debi!! Thank you..

M.
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Debi said...

Well - I never expected this post to attract so many great comments. Seems like we're never so happy as when we're analysing why and how we write or blog. There's all kinds of stuff lurking in our collective navel ...
Sharon - I can add to your list. As well as the paper serviettes, I've been known to write on the margins of newpapers (on the bus), torn pages from my kids' exercise books (at leisure centres, parks etc) and once, driving to the seaside, on a paper kite ...
I now occasionally draft my blog posts in longhand. My laptop, modem etc are set up in the bedroom and not easily portable for various reasons.
As G usually goes to bed much earlier than me and the kids want (more than) their share of the computer, the times I can blog are restricted.
Di I allow myself to be bound by the limitations?
Pen and paper triumph again!

Debi said...

Di I???

Sharon J said...

Debi. I've done the edges of newspapers thing, too. I also rip off little bits of magazines or the corners of my crossword book that we have in the loo and write on them. I really ought to put a note pad in there, too. Oh, and skin is good. I've often written on my arm when paper simply hasn't been available. Strange how I almost always have a pen but not always paper. Mind you, having said that, I've also made notes with lipstick and eyeliner.

I'm starting to realise why certain friends tend to think I've lost a few marbles along the way.

Debi said...

Have your children escaped being daubed with graffiti, Sharon?
'Just stay still and stop wriggling while I scan your leg ...'
And does the tattoo cause problems by taking up potential writing space???