How I write, and why.

I was taught to write at an early age just about the same time I was taught to read, like most children. As I got older, I started to make up stories in imitation of the ones I read, and naturally my first thought was to write them down. Because this was the early 90’s and we weren’t precisely wealthy, my family had no computers at all. So my only option was to pick up a pen and a notebook and start writing them down. The only one I can really remember was a thriller-type mystery, with a tall beautiful blonde of international repute as the detective. I think I got about four or five handwritten pages finished before I gave up from hand-cramp and abandoned the story. After all, it was much more interesting to read other people’s stories than it was to spend all that time getting my own out of my head and onto paper. I already knew what happened in my own.

Gradually, I gave up attempting to write stories entirely and stuck to absorbing every book I could lay my hands on. Every once in a while the paper would call to me, notebooks would demand to be written in, and I would jot down a few lines, a scrap of poetry, a doodle, anything to stop the call of the paper. After a few minutes or hours I would return to my books and not write again for weeks or months. Then I discovered World of Warcraft and became heavily involved in role-playing. My favorite part of RP was writing back-stories for my characters, or scenarios which couldn’t happen on-screen or happened only partially in-game. Naturally, all of these stories were typed so I could share them with other RP-ers. And in so doing, I discovered writing again. I could create new characters, in worlds of my own choosing! I could even finish a whole story, without hand cramping and in a very short period of time. Typing is something I do both quickly and accurately, and I enjoy the feel of my fingers flying across the keyboard, words emerging from my fingers at the speed of about one per second.

Since I began to write seriously, with the intent to someday publish some of it, I have learned to enjoy writing by hand. Sometimes I brainstorm on paper and sometimes in a Word file. I generally prefer shorthand notes, or notes from a book to be written in my notebook, but I usually write chapters on the computer only.

I don’t believe that hand-written words are inherently better than words typed in a Word document or vice-versa. I think the Muse visits us equally regardless of how we get the ideas out into the world where we can see them.  I do, however, believe that each person must find the tools which best suits them and stick to them. The method is only incidental, the result is what matters where writing is concerned.

Currently Reading: Light Switch by Lauren Gallagher



  1. January 9, 2011 at 8:31 pm

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Gary James. Gary James said: RT @LiaBooke: Handwritten vs. typed: Some of the how and why of my method of writing. http://ht.ly/3ARz8 #amwriting #blog […]

  2. P00ks said,

    January 10, 2011 at 8:38 am

    I would agree, I first started “writing” in college, more specifically in my chem & physics classes because I couldn’t pay attention. And all I had were my notebooks.

    then came WoW which involved posts typed directly in reply boxes. And in between my notebooks. I have a folder of loose papers and a few notebooks full of stories. moleskin ftw!

    The Writer taught me writing is an art, and I love the process of art more than the result. Give me a pencil sketch over the CG colored result. Give me the scratched up scribbles over the final result. You see more in that the way someone wrote a word.

    And ya know, if you took my notebooks, you would have many more stories. I hate typing them up…

  3. January 10, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    Arthritis prevents from writing by hand too much, but I still squirrel away little notes in a tiny notebook I keep in my purse.

    • Lia said,

      January 10, 2011 at 12:03 pm

      Yep, I keep my notebook in my purse too. That way it’s always with me!

  4. Geoffrey Cubbage said,

    January 12, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    My desk is piled high with identically-folded squares of notebook paper containing scribbles from work. Every once in a while I remember to label the outside of the fold, but for the most part they lie there, blank and mysterious, until I need something I wrote at work and have to go through the whole stack.

    Short version: don’t handwrite with the intention of transcribing at home unless you actually do the damn transcription. In a timely fashion. Like that day. You (me) stupid git.

    • Lia said,

      January 12, 2011 at 4:37 pm

      *snicker* I occasionally jot down notes for a blog-post while I’m at work to be transcribed at home later. Invariably I get it transcribed soonish since I need it for a blog post within a few days! But…advice noted. 😀

  5. February 2, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    […] five years and have always been primarily interested in the RPG part of it. I’ve mentioned elsewhere that part of my rekindled interest in writing stemmed from creating stories and characters for the […]

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