Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Writing in the past

As I was flipping through tweets on Monday I saw a line that only briefly caught my eye. I moved on and later began really pondering it some more. The line? "email killed my handwritting." Unfortunately I was just flipping quickly through and can't remember who tweeted it, but I really got thinking about it throughout the day.

I don't write my novel in the sense that I actually write it by hand. I do what most writers do in this century; I type. I type everything. The only thing I don't type up are my character sheets. I have a form that I fill out as I go and think of things. I would be lost without my computer.

So, where am I going with this?

The line I read got me thinking about the fact that I use the computer to write so much. I started wondering how anyone wrote a novel before computers and typewriters. I mean think of Homer, Shakespeare. Neither of them had the ability to use a computer where they could coral their ideas, throw them into a spreadsheet and dissect them. They had to do everything by hand. When I think of the number of corrections I have made to my novel already, the number of drafts on my last novel, I cringe at the thought of having to write all of that down.

And the best part is that both of them have stories that have stood the test of time. They are studied and well read the world round. I still cringe at the thought that if I had been born in their time periods I wouldn't have my beloved computer. I need my computer, word documents, spreadsheets, etc. I don't think I could write a novel without them.

What could you not do without when you write?


  1. Hi Heather. I found your blog through She Writes and just love it. Your topic touched a real chord with me. I am a parent/teacher/educator and blog about that (parenting and education). I have a blog in October (check it out: that discusses how important writing by hand is, and how it is a real challenge today.

    Anyway, loved your blog, hope you visit mine. Regardless, lots of luck - I will come back and visit!

    All the best,
    Meryl Jaffe PhD

  2. Thank you so much for visiting, Meryl. I'm glad you like the blog. I'll be sure and visit your blog as well.

    Thanks, Heather