Thursday, August 9, 2012

Back to Pen and Paper

There's something I've noticed with my last novella, Jungle Blaze, the third book in my Amazon Chronicles series, which comes out next month. There were times when working on the computer were pretty painstaking. Maybe some of it was writer's block, or maybe just the stress of what I've had going on was affecting my writing. It could also have been the distraction of the internet, and maybe even watching the "word count" toolbar on Word not move as quickly as I'd like. No, I don't dare turn that toolbar off because I'd get even more paranoid! lol

What did I do? I kept myself determined to keep the momentum from floundering too much, so I went back to pen and paper for several pages at a time. It's interesting because I noticed when I did that, I'd type up what I wrote and more easily be able to continue with the story.

I liked that I could get away from the computer and my office. I have a laptop and a netbook, which I could do the same with, but there's something about pen and paper that made it feel like it was just me and the characters in my head. It took less concentration to get the words on the page since I was there. Besides, there's a bunch of specials on school supplies going on right now. As a writer, I love looking through the deals and getting office supplies.

The only problem with this was that I'm pretty quick with typing, so I can more easily keep up with the characters when I'm telling their story. With pen and paper, it takes a little longer to get it down, but that didn't take away from the awesome feeling of actually writing.  :-)

So what do you do when you're stuck with writing? Have you tried going back to writing with pen and paper for a few pages at a time? Maybe on a laptop?

Sarah Mäkelä


  1. I use the pen and paper trick too! I think my entire creative process relaxes a bit when I have a pad of paper instead of a computer. I actually wrote my first two books and my master's thesis by longhand back in the day!

    Thanks for reminding us that sometimes taking a step back actually moves us forward :)

    Marie Andreas

  2. I haven't been writing like I should for the last six months for medical reasons, but just stared rereading my WIP and feel semi-inspired again. I'm hoping that helps.

  3. I usually listen to music or watch a movie to get things going again. I have a tough time writing without a keyboard now... LOL

    Congrats on finishing another novella SArah!!! You're on a roll!!!

    Lisa :)

  4. It's nice to hear that I'm not the only one, Sarah. Sometimes I get weird looks when I mention I'm literally using pen and paper, but it really does help unlock those blocked areas. Not only that, before computers, I'd often lay on my stomach to write. It's comfortable for me. Thanks for the post, and admitting you're still into the old-fashioned writing from time to time, too!

  5. I started my novel with pen and paper (I'm a little over a thousand words in). Not sure if I will continue that way or not. I do a lot of writing for work (freelance articles, blog posts for clients, etc) and I generally type them out rather than write with pen and paper, but I think non-fiction writing, as far as articles go, has a different flow than fiction. I'm going to try writing my novel on the computer, but I may just go back to pen and paper from time to time.