Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Ink vs Keyboard

I want to write. I want to write so badly it is like a physical ache and a driving hunger. I think of my previously published book and of it's unfinished sequel and I yearn to finish it.

What is holding me back? The fact that I cannot find my college-ruled notebook paper and ballpoint pens.

I have always written better, have had my ideas flow more smoothly, when writing with ink on paper. As the years passed and I found myself more on the keyboard, I have attempted to "quicken" the process by skipping the handwritten portion and placing it on glowing screen.

But my sequel has lain dormant for almost a decade now, whereas the first book took a decade to write, edit, and publish. The difference, I believe, resides in the fact that I physically wrote out my rough draft (and re-draft, and third edited draft, etc), and this sequel I have attempted to merely type.

I do not feel a connection to my written work with it laying in electronic land that I did writing it out by hand. I still eat, sleep, breathe, and talk to my characters from the first one--I cannot seem to even manage a passing hello to the sequel.

More and more I have my thoughts consumed by imaging myself writing out a book by hand again. I dream it, I wake to it, I daydream of it...

Perhaps I should stop fighting the pull and purchase a notebook at the local grocery store. I would buy my favorite ballpoint pens, but alas...they are no longer made. I suppose I could use the newer version, the P-700 over my favored P-500, but that, too, fills me with nostalgia. Why cannot we have what we are comfortable with? Why does everything, even ink pens, have to be "improved"?


Perhaps I am merely getting older and intolerant...


  1. I write my short stories far better with ink and paper, but so far novels seem to do well on the computer. Still, there is something to the tactile experience of pen and paper that submerges one in the project.

    Things being constantly upgraded is a pet peeve of mine. I find pens I like and want to keep buying them, but by the time I need a new package, they're gone.

    I hope you can find your stuff or a suitable replacement so you can get back down to it.

  2. I definitely hear ya on that. My handwriting isn't incredible, but I do enjoy writing it. It's certainly an art form, and something much more personal than the typed word.

    There may be something to what you say about getting older though. Sometimes I just want things to be as simple as it once was... My pen isn't going to crash. I don't have to "save" my notebook, etc...

    It's so infrequent that I actually WRITE anything, my signature is damn near illegible!

  3. I'm afraid you are going to have to compromise. More and more I am becoming comfortable with writing on microsoft office...I still make rough notes on paper. Give in, buy a notebook. Try a Hilroy wireless neatbook...they are really cool, nicely lined, lay flat AND you can remove a page if you want. If you can't get your ball points give a Pilot V7 hi-tecpoint liquid ink pen a shot. I've become addicted to them. I buy them by the box. The important thing is to's obvious that you need to and you are not going to be happy until you do.

  4. I understand and share your nostalgia. (Mine is for the pencils of old...although, they still make those.) But, especially at this time for you, writting may be the outlet you need. I say, buy the P-700s and get to writting! Good luck!

  5. Ink! Ink! Ink!
    Fredrick Bher: "I looked at you and thought, "Ah! She must be a writer!"
    Jo March: "Really?! How could you tell?"
    (Fredrick quietly points out the ink smudges all over her fingers where her dip pen has leaked.)