The old-fashioned way

Our home has been without Internet since Sunday night. It is now Friday.

The horror!

I am trying not to twitch too much.

Seriously, though, it hasn’t been too bad. I mean, if we are desperate we still have our phone service. (And so far, very surprisingly, I haven’t been that desperate.)

This week was an opportunity for me to write the old-fashioned way: pen and paper.

Usually I write using Google Docs with my iPad. I have a nice little external keyboard for my iPad and one of my favourite sensory experiences of all time is the feel of the keys under my fingertips and the tickety-tack sound it makes as I type. (Yes, I am weird.)

I literally spent half an hour in Best Buy trying out iPad keyboards, just to see how the keys feel and sound as I type.

Yes, I am that picky. Or just plain nuts.

Using pen and paper, I have been relishing the smell of the ink and the scritchy-scratch sound as I write. Just the act of writing itself is, on some mental level, quite rewarding.

Seeing the degeneration of my handwriting, on the other hand, is not rewarding! It has devolved into a slightly illegible combination of printing and cursive.

Crinting? Pursive?

One thing I tried this week, as I write the old-fashioned way, is to not edit as I write. It’s so easy with a computer to backspace and delete what you just wrote, re-writing and re-writing…and not getting very far very fast. So I’ve just been writing while not scratching out anything…I just keep going. Sure, some of it might need fixing and some of it might be plain garbage, but that’s what revising is for. (Many thanks to¬†Brian Henry who gave these nuggets of wisdom during his last writing workshop!) It is very liberating to turn off that editor for a while.

I’ve noticed how pleasant the tactile sensation is of feeling the dual-sided texture of handwriting indentations on both sides of a page. And the crinkly sound of the word-filled page as it is turned.

Once our Internet is turned on, what will I do? Go back to the iPad or stick with my new notebook friend?

Bets, anyone?



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