I’m not talking about your style, genre, or even the methods you use to get your ideas from thought to story. I’m talking about the tools you use.
Like most writers, I typically type directly onto my laptop, whether it’s a blog, a letter to print out and sign, or the next chapter in the Reborn Trilogy – everything is typed into a document, or a spreadsheet, or an email.
Except, scattered around my workspace, with apparently no logic, rhyme nor reason, are literally hundreds of scraps of paper, with real words written in real ink. These are my notes, and while it may appear slapdash to the uneducated eye, it does have a system, because, for whatever reason, I can’t make notes on a computer.
I think it goes back to my school days, long before computers were mainstream, when kids wrote with a pencil until they were old enough to use a fountain pen. It was such a major milestone in life, being deemed mature enough to sit with a pot of ink in the little hole on your desk, refilling your pen when it ran dry. Even today, playing with a fountain pen brings back great feelings of nostalgia.
So when I have a thought, an idea, a quote, anything I want to remember, I grab a pen and a piece of paper and jot it down. It’s probably quicker to type it into my laptop, but I still jot it down on a piece of paper.
Over my 40(ish) years of life, I’ve seen the ‘norm’ in writing progress from pencil, to fountain pen, to biro (or ballpoint). From typewriters, to word processors (which were really just typewriters that you plugged into a socket), to PCs, laptops and notebooks, and even cellphones.
And still, for the very basics of my writing, I revert back to a good old pen and paper with a haphazard filing system that only I understand.
There’s just something solid about the feel of the pen in your fingers, the sound of the nib as it scrapes across the paper, even the smell of the ink.