It’s my birthday. We’re talking about me. I don’t write everything everything by hand. These days it’s mostly just the novels I write by hand first. Also some poetry. Not often much you see on the internet, some of which you can see on Patreon. Let’s not forget ye olde daily journal entry. This blog post isn’t saying you should go to the dollar store and get you a super funk cool notebook. I’m saying, everyone enjoys reading about unknown author’s writing regimen.
It’s the way I was taught in school.
That’s right. I’m that old, and my school was that underfunded, I guess. I was born in the 90’s. I wasn’t allowed to approach a computer, much less it’s word processor, until I had the second draft of a report hammered out. That only changed when I hit high school. By that point in time, my father took our family laptop to work, so I preferred to write my reports, once in a notebook in pencil, then once on college rule, three hole punch, paper, in red ink, in cursive. It was a bear, and it was especially challenging because my hand writing is terrible. I remember there being tears on at least one occasion, because I had to rewrite a report, by hand, because my teacher said he couldn’t read it. He was trying to set me up for survival and success once I left high school. I don’t resent him. I was just frustrated. Anyway, I’ve been writing by hand, since I learned to write. Why stop now?
It’s free plagiarism protection.
None of ya’ll can read my hand writing, so you can’t read it over my shoulder when I work in public! Mahaha!!
…Every now and then one of you surprises me when I post an aesthetic pic from a café, on Insta. Then ya’ll walk up to me like “What happened to the princess once she left the castle?” Like, you were super in to the three sentences you got from translating it from some sort of elvish.
No one wants to steal a notebook.
Laptop? Boom. Gone.
Half used notebook? Can’t give it away, if you tried. It’s right up there with sweaty gym socks… That being said, please don’t steal my notebook just to prove me wrong. I too, am a spiteful creature. Still not cool, George!
People keep buying me really cool notebooks.
All the close homies know I write by hand. So all of them get me journals. Like, I’ve had a problem with “I need to take bullcrap notes, during Stupid Adult Time, where I Have To Learn Things™, and I don’t have a notebook I’m not emotionally attached to…” Like, I would be distraught if I lost one while it was empty, kinda notebooks. They’re also beautiful. Like “Nice journal!” “Thanks, it has pockets!” kinda beautiful, with the gold trim. I’ve remedied this by buying a pot load from the dollar store. Cash me rolling up with a rainbow kitty unicorn notebook, boi!
The notebooks are treasure.
“My wealth and treasures? If you want it, you can have it! Search for it! I left it all at that place!” – Gold Rodger, One Piece (2006)
Like I said, my friends buy me nice notebooks, and I’d be distraught if I lost one. They become even more valuable to me once they’re filled with my literal life’s work. I put them all in a little safe that holds up my dual VCR/DVD player.
They weigh a ton less than my laptop.
Even my heftiest notebook weighs less than my laptop.
Typing it up gives me time to take an unbiased look at it fresh eyes.
By the time I finish off a novel, and start transcribing it from paper, to digital madness, I’ve forgotten what I wrote. Now I get to see it as if it’s the first time. I can look at it like a fresh novel from a stranger, and if it’s trash, I can pop it with the .22 behind the gas shed. Usually I don’t, and just make a note the beginning sucks, and I was bored to tears reading it, thus I need to change it.
By the time I make it back to the end, I forgot how it ends! So if I’m running around my apartment screaming “NO! Zoey and Chloe were meant to be together!” I’m less married to the way I had it, and am willing to change it.
Pen feel good. Paper go scritch.
Dude. We gotta be real. There’s a weird tactile pleasure to this too. I also enjoy the ink stains on my hands when I’m finished.
I can take so many cool aesthetic pictures with my notebooks.
That one where I have them lined out on a fence, that one where I have them on my stairs in my apartment, those pictures of towering stacks of notebooks. Dope, and bangin’. I enjoy doing that, and you enjoy looking at it with your face. Not to mention, here’s the park over the edge of my book, here’s the café, here’s the library, here’s the ocean. All of it. Ya’ll have seen about every cool zoomed in angle of my laptop I can get.
I can see my notebook in the sunlight.
I can write outside and I don’t need an outlet. Nuff said.
It keeps me from taking myself too seriously.
In 2016, when I was writing full time, I got heavily into social media. Suddenly, it was like I had the voices of 1,000 strangers in my ear: “Are your characters diverse enough? Are you including people of color? Are your portrayals of people of color offensive? Are you including gay representation? Do your female characters have lives outside of your male characters? You write YA. Are you putting a child in a problematic situation? Do you really want your character to swear that much? Now, not swearing at all is unrealistic.” It was so much pressure.(Even though that vetting is necessary, just after the first draft!)
When I write in a notebook, I can convince myself no one is going to read it. When I’m ready to pull it out, and make sure my book meets all of those standards, I line it out on ye olde laptop.
Anyway, here’s the question no one asked answered. I hope you enjoyed the ride anyway. By the way, while we’re on the subject, Clive Barker writes all of his manuscripts out by hand, three times, before typing them out. I really hope there’s a handwritten copy of Kry Rising somewhere. My father and I are anxious to see it.
If you’ve enjoyed this blog, and would like to get to know me and my work better, consider subscribing to my Patreon. Thank you! By the way, my birthday is actually the 14th.
 Once Piece, Gold Rodger. “Opening Narration.” One Piece Wiki, Wikipedia, 2006, https://onepiece.fandom.com/wiki/Opening_Narration#:~:text=Narrator%3A%20Wealth%2C%20fame%2C%20power,entered%20a%20Great%20Pirate%20Era!