How Do You Write?

If you think this sounds like a silly question, then you are right. It is silly on the surface but one thing technology lets us do is the same thing in different ways. It opens up so many options and once you learn to harness those choices, it actually means a lot more people can do the things they want to do than ever before – whether as a career or just for fun.

That’s both a blessing and a curse. You can find some great talent and amazing stories but there’s now so much content being produced that it’s becoming harder and harder to sift through it all, let alone decide what you should spend your time reading (and watching, playing, listening etc).

Writing by word processor/typing

This is probably the most common method in the current world. It’s only going to continue as digital technology grows in importance in our lives.

It’s a lot more environmentally friendly, which is a huge bonus. Being able to make changes to your work easily is very helpful and there are no masses of paper to sort through. Numbering pages is easy, as is making notes and comments. It’s also simple to share with others and get feedback.

If you want to be pedantic about it, this is typing rather than writing but just be glad you don’t have to rely on a typewriter. Sure, some people like it and that’s fine but I’m so used to using a word processor now that it’s hard to think of another option.

Just don’t forget to keep backups. Please keep backups!

Writing by hand

Think about how hard it is to write a book these days. Now, imagine how hard it was to do without the advantages of computers. Scratching out mistakes, crumpling up page after page, manuscripts piled high.

And the wrist cramp. Ouch.

That can’t be just me, surely?

I’m not used to that amount of writing anymore and I do find myself cramping up. It has its uses, definitely. When I’m on the move I always have a pad of paper. Typing it up afterwards is a pain but you do notice little mistakes straight away and that’s useful.

Writing with a quill is also a lot harder than you might think. Seriously.

Writing by dictation

How many had ever thought of this method? How many of you have actually tried it? It may seem like cheating but I think it can be useful – especially if you’re away from a computer/paper – to an extent.

If you have a good dictation machine or recording set up and software to translate audio files into text, you can capture any sudden bursts of inspiration at any time.

Writing a full book this way probably isn’t a good plan, since it’s not so easy to check what you’ve done before and there’s no guarantee wat you say will be translated properly at the moment.

You’ve got to remember, though, that before stories were written down, they were told orally. That’s how stories were told and passed from person to person so there’s some logic to doing things this way. It’s quite an interesting feeling.

Give it a shot.

Any others?

There are probably a hundred and one different ways people write now. Gone are the days when you’re only real option was to use pen and paper. I’ve tried the ones above, with varying and interesting results but if you have any others, feel free to share!

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2 comments on “How Do You Write?

  1. Chris Dutton (newby on twitter, another Manc-ite) says:

    Fountain pen and then transfer to PC as the first edit: there’s a certain amount of joie do vivre in the pen, and the pen writes faster than my typing allowing my mind to keep up (I still do pretty good typing, just the pen is faster)…and then there’s something about typing up, annoying at times, but still far more of an interactive process in that edit that allows a good edit, rather than just staring at a screen…which I do for a living most of the day….

    Like

    • davemccreery says:

      Maybe I’m just out of practise now but I find my wrist hurts after a while – and my handwriting is actually awful! I do keep some written drafts and notes around though, they do seem more secure and safe than just relying on digital copies. Editing, though, that’s always digital – printing off a full novel multiple times gets expensive even if it is better!

      Like

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