I tried writing my journal in pencil yesterday to test if that was a viable option (see my previous post: The Right Write Stuff. And . . .
(not so much.)
First, the pencil was too heavy. I have a Rotring mechanical pencil. It is a sturdy, all metal thing, which feels good in the hand. That is, it has a reassuring quality to it’s heft. That weight comes at a price. It is a detriment when writing for extended periods of time. My hand kept cramping, forcing me to stop and work out the kinks.
Second, and more importantly, I could edit what I was writing. Did edit what I was writing. That meant more stopping; more stopping meant less writing. Not good, right? It’s worse because stopping to fix things is editing, and editing is the completely wrong mindset for writing shitty first drafts. SFDs are the realm of pure creativity, or as close as I can get. SFDs grow from that magical soil where I walk with the Muse. A place where anything can—and should—happen. A place that is wide open and free.
(sounds like a commercial set in the land of feminine hygiene products.)
Shut up, you!
Editing, by contrast, is the logical side. It’s what I do when I’m revising, when I’m taming the wild possibilities I’ve thrown Jackson Pollock style on the page.
The two mindsets don’t play well. At least not for me. If I start editing too soon I get bogged down and lose the creative spark. Writing becomes a chore, like pushing one of those old-time plows up hill. Even if the Muse was willing to wait around while I laboriously fought with the words, that’s too much work. Whenever that happens, what I’m working on falls apart and I go do something else.
That’s why I start off old school—paper and pen—rather than on a word processor. It is far too easy to slide into editing mode in Microsoft Word. Though I can type way faster than I can handwrite, I get way less done. One would think it’d be more effective to have a workflow with less parts. Nope. Perhaps for some that is the case. Not for me.
(so the pencil option is out?)
Right out. Shitty first drafts are always pen and paper.