It’s so much easier for me to write long-hand than it is to type my thoughts and feelings on a computer. Although I’m a lover of technology and a consumer of most gadgets, the truth is, there’s something soothing and rhythmic to having a pen between your fingers and tracing across a smooth sheet of paper.
I think what I hate most or find annoying with typing on a computer is the constant need to mentally “re-check” and “re-do” everything. Then there’s spell check automatically changing the words you might have spelled incorrectly or “fixing” what sometimes need not be fixed! It automatically switches letters or corrects your words – oh, it bothers me something fierce! And I always notice the movement, the “correction” and on top of annoying me, it knocks me out of my rhythmic moment!
The uniformity of words and the letters on the screen also somewhat bore me. The black and white-ness of it all. I’ll type one line and stare at it blankly forever. There’s no character, no true physical essence of ME – all that remains is the UMPH of the words, how they sound together, and all that “suppose-ed” MEANING. For me, writing on a computer assumes it’s for someone else’s consumption. I’m always editing, thinking about structure – all of sudden “meaning” to others matters so much more. . . So much pressure! Do the words make sense or ring true? Did I say it right? Is it smart enough? Did I use the right words?
Yeah, I could write it by hand and then re-type it. . . oh, but who has the time? And still, once you start transferring the words, all of a sudden changes need to be made!
When I write in my sketch book or what others may call a journal, it’s mine, completely MINE. It feels personal and it’s NOT for anyone else’s consumption. I love that! It’s all about ME and it’s doubtful anyone else will ever see it. My writing can be messy and jagged or beautifully cursive. I can print or doodle – one never knows when writing that day, but when you look back, if you choose to look back, it has character, flavor, so much more of ME than just the words – there’s style, character, flare and yes, the UMPH of the words too. Just by looking at the physical-ness of the entry, you get a sense of what it might mean. And you can get a feel of the entry just by glancing — You can tell what kind of mood I might have been in, just by the LOOK of it all. Did I block print? Did I scribble? Did I use blue or black ink? Was it really important so I underlined, starred it, or circled? Did I write all in red ink to signify a GREAT day? Or did I just run out of blue ink pens?
Maybe this explains why I find screenwriters and speechwriters so fascinating. The great ones produce rhythmic and meaningful lines across a page that invoke meaning and purpose all by themselves. They don’t need my colored pens and doodles to enhance the meaning of the words. And, if we’re lucky, the right talent comes along and gives the writer’s words texture and adds another facet of life into the work – hopefully, without losing the writers intent, of course! It’s why I love acting so much, bringing life to the scripted words…just the collaboration of it all.
For me, I’m good writing in my personal sketch book every single day. Doodling, free writing, playing around with ideas. There’s no doubt it’s a kind of therapy of sorts, at least for me anyways! And yeah, sometimes, like today, I’ll take the time to re-type it all…cuz it just feels right and I actually do have the time. 😉