Words on a Page

This shitty year continues to be spectacularly beshitting, and I haven’t done nearly as much writing as I had hoped I would. So I decided it was time to try a different approach to writing. I remember when I began working on HTDC it wasn’t on a computer at all. It was scrawled in the back of my school books and scribbled in ugly old notebooks. I think you have to start haphazardly like that. If you try and start neat, you end up paralyzed by the pressure to continue neat. And there is nothing neat about a first draft. I was going to buy a new notebook to write in, but after looking in every shop and not finding the right notebook, I realised I was still trapped in that “neat” mindset. If I used a really pretty notebook there would still be too much pressure to get it right. So I dug out an old notebook, tore out the used pages, and just began writing. And it worked! Words came out of my hand and just kept coming. They weren’t very good words. I’m sure I misspelled plenty of them and even left letters off the end of some, as I tend to do when I write too fast. But at least it’s progress. At least now I can crap out words on a page and I can’t hit the backspace button or shift sentences and paragraphs around. I just have to keep going forward, without looking back, until I reach the last page of the notebook.

I just hope I can read my handwriting when I go back over it…


5 responses to “Words on a Page

  • Victoria

    I have to make myself do this with essays again I think. It’s the best way to get at the true ideas.
    Glad to hear its working for you 🙂

  • Kate is

    Handwriting that is a year old; impossible for me. I have no idea why, it’s not like my writing has changed.
    My most enjoyable notebook is one that looks like it’s a 100 years old. I have pasted things in it, stapled pages, torn out others – it’s a mess, and I love it.

    • Annika Howells

      Luckily I hand write things at work each day so my writing hasn’t deteriorated too much over the years. Your notebook sounds awesome! I love those notebooks that get that lived-in character to them. I couldn’t bring myself to throw out a single old notebook when I was clearing out my house.

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