Your Writing Implement

When thinking about the actual writing implement you need to do your best work, don’t throw away the idea of writing longhand. It might be tempting to tap into your computer and end up with a finished product much faster, but there’s a certain beauty to the mechanical process of longhand. Something of the craftsman comes out.

I bought myself a new pen the other day, and thrilled I couldn’t wait to get home to try it out. It’s a fountain pen, which I didn’t know comes in a broad nib – that’s my pre-requisite for a pen. None of that scratchy, fine-line rubbish for me. When I want to make a mark, I want to make a MARK! The advantage is it just flows across the page, like a gel ink pen only cheaper to run (I go through a broad gel ink pen in a day when things are hotting up). This means my hand doesn’t cramp up as fast as when using a ball point. When you’re writing manuscripts of around 100,000 to 150,000 words, you have to think of these things.

If you do use a computer, my advice is to learn to touch type. It’s a skill I learned a long time ago, and I’m so glad I did, even though I had to brave my mother’s protests about it. My telling her I needed to learn to type because I wanted to be a writer didn’t really help me persuade her it was a worthwhile subject to study when there were physics and chemistry to learn. Oh joy. I can learn about forces and angles. That’ll be good for playing pool down the pub on Friday nights.

But if you don’t know how to touch type, and you don’t want to write longhand, you can always check out voice operated software.  It translates your spoken word into written text, so you can type as fast as you can speak.


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