Thursday, March 29, 2012

Adventures in Poor Handwriting

I was reading another blog the other day when I was struck by an idea. Not immediately, mind you. There was no eureka moment. Just a thought that occurred to me the next day at work. (Yes, I think about non-work things at work. Doesn't everybody?) It's not the first time this has happened, and there's another idea from another blog lurking in the wings here, but this one first, because it occurred to me that perhaps it's part of the reason lately why I've been so bad at keeping up with this one.

... Though, in all honesty, while it would make a nifty excuse, the truth is I just haven't gotten around to it as often as I should have. There have been real-world distractions over the past year, some of which allowed me to come to the realization that while there are writers whose volume of productivity is increased in hard times, I am not one of them. I do not find solace on the page, or at least I wasn't able to distract myself enough to focus on writing. On the plus side, I don't find solace in drink, either, so there is that.

Now that I've digressed enough, the idea was that it can be difficult for some people to write on the computer because it creates a layer of separation between the writer and the ideas. That by writing longhand, ideas flow more freely, more naturally. And there isn't the distraction of the shiny internet.

Which is when it occurred to me that, back in the old, dark days before the internet and yes, children, before computers - er, personal computers, not computers in general as I am not that old quite just yet - whenever I would write down my general thoughts it would be by hand. My journal, which on some days was a writing journal, and on other days just a repository for personal ramblings and musings, was always done by hand. So perhaps one of the problems for me in trying to keep this, a blog, which on some days is a writing journal, and on other days etc, is that I'm having to process things through the interfering medium of the keyboard and computer.

At which point I laughed until I cried.

Ok, not quite so much, but it was good for a chuckle.

There were two immediate problems with such a thought: one, I stumbled across my old hand-written journal some years back. Let me tell you, if you want a good laugh, go back to whatever personal stuff you may have written as a teen. Wow. For an exercise in both self-deprecating amusement and sheer embarrassment, it doesn't get much better than that. Therefore, writing by hand does not guarantee an improvement in the process. If anything, I think knowing there wasn't an immediate audience would directly correlate to a lack of improvement.

Two, and this is perhaps the more important reason: I can't read my handwriting. Granted, lots of people say this, but I have actually taken notes I could not read later on. The only time my handwriting is even approaching neat is when I'm writing on the board for my students.

So unless I start keeping this blog via white board, it's going to have to be on the computer.

Although the Macbook does have a nice white surface. Wonder if it's dry erase friendly?

(In case you are curious, the blog I read was over here. I think you have to appreciate a blog that is run by someone calling herself Zombie Monkey. Which, come to think of it, would be a scary prospect. Monkeys are potentially ill-tempered and prone to violence enough as it is, without being the walking dead. Also, despite the title, I don't prefer writing longhand, for obvious reasons. I'm not terribly sure I'm a gentleman either, so it works out.)