Thursday, December 12, 2013

Blank sheets are the writer's friend

Ideally, I'd write 100% on the computer.  It's quicker.  There's no need to transfer from paper.  And there's the internet fairies to keep me company if I get lonely.  Okay, maybe not that last part.

Alas, if I limited my writing time to when I can use a computer, that time would diminish.  Hence the notebooks I've been carrying around with me.  Get a spare 15 minutes?  That's 15 more minutes of writing.  I've wondered if the time saved is a wash or not, since I have to use the computer time later to type out.

But then something wonderful happened.

I read a book.

It's one of those "you have a book inside you and here's how you get it out books."  (I would be devastated to learn I have a book inside me.  I bet that would hurt.  And I plan to write way more than one.)

Here's some advice that I took from the book that's been revolutionary:

Write on large, blank, unlined pieces of paper.  I use a 9x12 sketchbook although the book suggests larger.
The extra space along with the blank canvas has helped me write faster.  And (dare I say it?) better.

There's a few ideas behind this, and I'm glossing over them.  The nuts and bolts of it are you relax and allow the right side of your brain to flow as you write.  I understand the idea behind writing quickly, though I was skeptical about using unlined paper.  Didn't want to.  It seemed a silly thing.  Not take a bath in jello silly, but silly nonetheless.

It works.  I've been doing it for four days now and I'm amazed.  I'm considering doing 90% or more of all my first drafts this way.

The book, by the way, is "The Call of the Writer's Craft" by Tom Bird.  I'm not ready to review it just yet.  Frankly, I'm not sure what I think of it.

But writing on blank sheets?  That's my new best friend