Friday, November 4, 2011

30 Days of Thankfulness in Writing – Day 4: Pen & Paper

It’s easy to focus on the negative in the world around us. In observation of a month many dedicate to counting their blessings, I’ve started a 30-day challenge in which I’ll focus on one aspect of my writing life for which I am thankful. I’d love to have you join by sharing about something that has blessed your own writing life in the comments section below. - Jen

It’s probably a no brainer, but today I am thankful for pen and paper. They’re both cheap and easy to come by, but there was a time (and it some places it may still be the case) where they were considered precious commodities. Not only did you have to have the money to spend on them, you needed an education to properly utilize them.

I’ve been blessed with both. I always have a notepad of some sort and a pen with me. Yes, I also own an older iPhone and have the ability to record voice memos or use the notepad feature, but I just love watching the ink bleed onto the page and I am less apt to edit myself while drafting a project.

For example, last night I spent an hour staring at my screen trying to think of what to write next in my story. I had the pieces outlined, I knew where the story needed to go, but I just couldn’t get the thoughts in my head to translate into words in my document. This in turn led me to turning my wireless back on and I ended up perusing through my news feeds “hoping my jumbled thoughts would work themselves out in the meantime.” Not very productive in terms of reaching my daily word count, obviously, so I closed the laptop and grabbed my nearest notepad.

Then this morning I packed up my car for a weekend visit to see my sisters. Joining me are my two brothers and sister-in-law. I of course have my laptop with me, but I put two notebooks and three pens into my bag (this doesn’t include the ones I have in my purse). The first thing my brother asked when I picked him up was if I had any paper and a pen with me so he could leave a note for his roommates. Cue the “Did you really just ask me that?” look.

As technology continues to progress I sometimes wonder if we’ll come to a point where we don’t utilize these simple tools anymore. If it does we’ll be losing an incredible art form. Fortunately, that day is not to day, nor is it tomorrow. So I’ll continue to stock up on pens and paper and admire the unique way my ideas seem to flow so freely when I have crisp white sheets and ink in hand.

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