Writing By Hand & Other Things

Friday, May 5, 2017
This week I've been super busy trying to prepare for two weeks of writing. I've loaded up on snacks and created music playlists that I'll enjoy writing to. I've also done a ton of house cleaning and took care of a few of those things around the house that have been staring me in the face for months.

I just didn't want to be distracted by those things while I'm trying to write. Also for other things that pop in my head, I've been telling myself, "I can do that in two weeks."

For most of my life, I've been a "write the first draft by hand in a notebook" kind of person. It has been the best way for my ideas to flow naturally without me over editing.

However lately I've realized that writing so much by hand isn't good for my hands due to the repetitive motion. The same can be said for typing, but I can get a lot more words out of typing before I suffer from hand cramps than with handwriting.

So lately, I have been experimenting with alternative methods of writing--alternatives to handwriting and traditional typing. This may sound insane, but so far, using the Swype keyboard on my phone is my favorite. For me, it's in the middle of handwriting and typing. I maintain just about the same amount of free flowing thoughts as when I'm writing by hand, and I avoid the need to edit everything like I do when I'm typing on a keyboard.

My wish is that there was a Swype keyboard that I could plug into my computer. It needs to be cellphone-sized because swipe was created for cellphones. Swype is awkward on any surface bigger than that (swiping on a tablet is an example of awkward). Then I can type with one hand. Swype seems slower than normal typing which I need because when I type I have wtoo much time available for over criticizing myself and changing sentences over and over.

I've also tried voice typing a little, and it is strange. I don't think I'm ready for it yet.

Another thing I've been looking into are ways to stop myself from editing too much while I type. I tried one writing program that disables the backspace key. It's a bit extreme, but at least I can forget about editing while I work. Another suggestion that I've read is to not erase the stuff I type that I don't like, but instead italicize it. Then when I go back to edit, those parts will stick out, and I can remove them.

So I will put these methods into practice as I start my writing challenge tomorrow.

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