Throwback Thursday: Putting Words on Paper

When I get really excited about starting a project, the first thing I do is go shopping. In school when I had to build a solar system out of Styrofoam  I tried to convince my parents I also needed a brand new set of paints and a multicolored assortment of clay, else I might fail.

Luckily for me they didn’t give into my antics, and my college fund was left intact.

And then when I started working out, I was convinced I need a head-to-toe workout outfit. Then I needed to buy a few more sets so I didn’t have to do laundry every day. While that’s actually not a bad idea, I’m sure I didn’t need top-of-the-line, fashionable workout gear. That BCG brand at Academy would have worked just fine.

It’s hard to exercise my shopping addiction with writing. Because in the end, all you really need is a pen and paper. I’ve still managed to buy some software, a lamp for my desk and a whiteboard, but I have yet to find a way to spend hundreds of dollars on writing. It’s pretty much a free hobby.

I got to thinking about the old days and how writing has evolved. How did we get from carving the Ten Commandments into stone tablets to typing up a report on our iPads?

Technology will always baffle me; I may never understand that progress. Sometimes I just take a step back and think, wow, it’s really cool that I can touch this screen and it knows what I’m trying to type.

One of my favorite things about the Harry Potter series is that wizards and witches write with quills and scrolls. There’s something about ancient methods of writing that just seem superior. As if I’m too elegant to use Microsoft Word.

But one of my favorite methods of writing is the typewriter. I’m not exactly sure why. It’s not really practical. You can’t right-click and figure out how the heck to spell “restaurant”. You can’t scroll up to the top and add in a missing word. But for first drafts, I think typewriters have it right. They force you to turn off your inner editor, and just let your voice speak.

Sometimes I wish I hadn’t been spoiled by the luxury of editing my work as I write, spoiled by spell check and auto-correct. But then I click on “word count” and quickly see a tally of the words in my novel, and I remember why we use word processors now instead of typewriters.

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