Pondering my Handwriting

Daily Prompt: Pens and Pencils

When was the last time you wrote something substantive — a letter, a story, a journal entry, etc. — by hand? Could you ever imagine returning to a pre-keyboard era?

I fantasize about writing with a pen—never a pencil. Always I would imagine myself sitting by an open window in the summer, inhaling the brine of the ocean down the road from my house (my fantasy house by sea) while writing a short story or a letter to some loved one. It’s a huge window and every now and then a blue jay or sparrow would perch upon its sill and chirrup at me as I write, encouraging me to continue with my thoughts. Whenever I fantasize about writing, it’s always handwriting, not typing.

The physical exertion involved in handwriting makes the act more personal, especially if it’s a letter or a journal entry being written. When I do write with a pen, it’s as if I’m leaving a part of myself on the page along with my thoughts. I think more exertion is required of us when handwriting, which makes the act all the more satisfying when completed. However, since handwriting is more physical, my hands are now out of shape since I do not handwrite often. Now whenever I write with a pen, I can only do so for a few minutes before I have to stop to rest my hand. These days I find it hard to imagine how writers managed to write hundreds of pages for hours by hand back in the day.

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Missing My October Groove

Daily Prompt: Winning Streak

What’s the longest stretch you’ve ever pulled off of posting daily to your blog? What did you learn about blogging through that achievement, and what made you break the streak?

It’s odd when things like this happens: when I happen upon something that relates to what’s going on in my life or how I currently feel. Today’s daily prompt is like that. I just posted on Facebook that I find it hard to write because all my thoughts suck and the motivation has disappeared. Much as I would like to write, everything I type seems wrong. So I hopped over to Daily Post for some inspiration.

Today’s prompt is fitting if I substitute “posting daily” for “writing daily.” From the end of September to the beginning of November, I wrote daily. Sometimes it was for my blog and other times it was personal. I was inspired, motivated, and on a creative high that I thought would never end. I was happy that I was caught up on discussing the books I read and that visits to my blog had perked up some and I had even gained a few new followers. Writing daily helped to make my thoughts clearer and strengthened my writing. I learned that though I thought I was a night writer, anytime of the day worked as long as I commit myself to the task. But my creative energy is usually higher in the mornings, shortly after waking up, or late at night. I also learned that once I am in that zone where I’m typing away heedless of what’s occurring around me, it doesn’t matter where I am working or how noisy the area is. Once I am committed to the task, I enter a vacuum where all that exists are my thoughts and the characters I tap on to the screen. I was happy with this process and I thought I had finally formed a writing habit that would remain but the constant writing lasted for a month and then stopped.

I wrote nothing for the month of November. At first I reasoned that I was just taking a break—that I’d OD’d on writing and I needed a breather. Then it was that I needed to finish reading my current books and then I would have something to discuss. Next came the usual excuse: “I’m too busy.” And then the cop-out: “I don’t feel motivated/inspired/creative/in-the-zone to write.” But those excuses were just a mask for the truth—I had broken a productive cycle and become lazy. I began by skipping one day, which led to two, then three, four, five, and so forth until a month had passed and I wrote nary a thing. I couldn’t even muster the motivation to discuss the books I read. But I hope December will be different. Starting with this post, my plan is to push myself to write every day until I get back my October groove.