There was some great conversation between the four of us who showed up to Chester’s Beers of the World for the Hamilton Writers meeting last night – once they turned down the music enough that we could hear each other speak, that is. 😉
One interesting topic that came up was our choice of writing process – specifically between three very different experiences – typing on a keyboard, scribbling with a pen or pencil on paper, and speaking into a voice recorder. It was interesting to see how different people reacted to the different options.
I’m a typer; I have been since I was very young; taught myself how to go beyond two-finger hunt and peck typing, though it took proper typing lessons to cure myself of looking at the screen. I have handwriting so horrible that I can’t read it myself, and I get very nervous about the sound of my voice and my ums and uhs if I try talking into a voice recorder. But I’ve never really needed an alternative to typing – it’s a process that works very well for me.
The new gentleman who brought up this topic for conversation said that he found that a voice recorder and Dragon Naturally Speaking work very well for him – especially after he’s reached the halfway point in a story, which is where the tough part usually begins for him. He can usually cruise through the first half on a keyboard, he said, but then gets blocked if he can’t talk it through. Another writer that I’ve known for many years mentioned that she associates keyboards as a tool for a day job, not a part of her writing process, so she writes her first drafts out in longhand.
Have you found the process that works for you? Is there some special subprocess within those big three that you write best with, (a particular keyboard device, that perfect notebook paper, or whatever?) Do you ever wish that you could find a better process than the one you’re writing with now?
I think speaking into a voice recorder, I might well end up with a whole lot of crap that I would need to delete later. 😉 I guess that happens to me even with typing, since I tend to produce very bloated works that need paring down, but still, I think it’d be worse with voice recording. Never tried it though, to find out.
And as for writing by hand…no. Way too slow for my impatient twitchy fingers 😉
Interesting post. Before I entered the world of Nanowrimo, I preferred to write everything out long hand, then type it up (a forced revision). But, I quickly realized that with short deadlines I didn’t have the time for adding that first revision. So I learned to type my first drafts. On on hand, it’s actually gotten me through drafts. I don’t spend hours picking out notebooks or only starting the first few chapters because I’m so egar to get that first revision in. On the other hand, I think my writing may be suffering for it. I find myself more reluctant to revise and it harder for me to find the flaws. I guess that means I’m still struggling to find my process, and I think, that it’s buried somewhere between the two.