Writing

On Writing With Pen and Paper

I remember the days before writing on a computer was a big thing. Mind you, I’m sure it was done, after all, it was only in the 1980s. But, at least before I started using a computer for writing, paper and pens were my go to.

During the mid to late 1990s, I was big into the Victorian era and reading L.M. Montgomery’s journals. Her journals were collected and assembled into books, but I had seen pictures of her actual journals. I’d read about other men and women, while doing research for my family tree, who kept diaries and journals. I found it fascinating to read about what life was like in “the olden days.”

I wanted to be like those men and women. I wanted to keep a record of what life for me was like. I wanted to have something for my descendants (and maybe others) to read and see what it was like during my lifetime.

I started with one of those little girl diaries with a lock and key. I didn’t keep it locked, because nothing I wrote was secret. This diary was white and had a cute little kitty cat on it. I started making a record with each entry of what the weather was like that day, and then discussed what happened or who came to visit, how we were related, etc. Over time, I transitioned into notebooks so that I could record more information, more details.

And eventually, my journals turned into the typical kind where I would vent my frustrations and fears, my hopes and joy.

Over time, I stopped recording in my journals and turned to the computer instead, beginning my blogging journey. I want to say that my earliest blogging began in 2005, and I don’t think I have used a notebook style “journal” since. Though, to be honest, there are some days that I think about keeping one again, just to record more private things. So far, that hasn’t happened.

What I like about using the computer, is that I can type faster and record my thoughts almost as quickly as they come. When using pen and paper, I would get the thoughts coming, and by the time I had written some of it down, I’d forget what the next thing was that I had wanted to record! I can certainly type much faster than I can write!

As much as I now prefer to use a computer for writing, there is something that draws me back, from time to time, to the old fashioned pen and paper method – especially now that we have so many pretty coloured inks to choose from, so many different styles of pens to use, and a vast collection of notebooks and journals to choose from.

I want to set a “goal” for myself. OK, it’s not really a goal per se, but, I want to start doing a little writing from time to time using pen and paper. Some form of writing different to what I’m doing now. To be honest, I do have a small prayer journal that I write in with pens, but I want to keep a notebook of writing as well, something I can carry with me to record descriptions, jot down a quick poem or thoughts and ideas.

I want to keep this for no other reason than the fact that I enjoy using pen and paper!

Do you have a preference for writing with a computer or pen and paper? Why is that your preferred method for writing? Let me know in the comments!

Writing

Wednesdays Are For Writing

In The Beginning

I remember when I was young and in school, we often had to do short pieces of writing for class. I don’t remember if I used to enjoy this or not, but I do remember not being very good at it. I had a difficult time coming up with something good that didn’t sound like I had copied it.

When I was in grade 5, in 1978/79, we read a short story about a ghost who caused mischief. We had to write our own ghost story afterwards and I remember that I didn’t understand it had to be our own creation. In my little piece of writing, I used very similar situations and the teacher wrote on my paper that it was too close to the story we read. I didn’t know anything about plagiarising at the time. Mrs. G also got quite angry with me for calling the woman in my story a dame. In a brusque tone, she informed me that, “That is not how we refer to women!”

My real love for writing began when I was in grade 11 and I began writing stories and what I had hoped would be novels. Some of these would be what we refer to now as fan fiction. Again, I had no training, no writing class; I just wrote for the fun of it.

These were horrible pieces!

I do remember what I enjoyed the most (and still do) was in creating my own characters, places, descriptions. I didn’t worry about spelling and punctuation as I wrote (which was fine, because that is what editing is for); I just let the ideas flow from my mind and onto the paper.

Cringe-worthy Discovery

Many years later, as I was cleaning out my mom’s house after she died, I came across the notebooks I had used for these stories (put away in a box in my old room) and I sat on the floor in the bedroom and read them over. Definite writings of a high school girl – terminology and all! I think I consistently cringed as I read through every page. They were certainly not worth saving so I readily tossed them in the trash!

Drawn to Creating

Over the years, I felt drawn to creating, drawn to recording the plots and characters I gave birth to. I’ve written several short-short stories (of around 700 words each), a couple of poems, and attempted a couple of novels.

More recently, I wrote a piece of non-fiction for an anthology called, Carpe Diem (see the Published Writing tab) which was published and released in March of this year. The book hit best-selling status in the self-help category on the release day!

I am now a published author, and I am working on my own non-fiction book!

Growth

I have learned a lot and grown since I first began writing. It’s all part of the process, and all writers go through it. I want to include a writing portion on this blog – likely on Wednesdays (hence the title of the post). These posts will be anything from sharing pieces of my writing, discussing the writing process, referring other writing blogs and/or podcasts, inspiration – anything writing related.

What have been your writing experiences? I’d love to hear about them! Let me know in the comments.