A New Habit

I think I’ve mentioned before that I like to hand write. I started out hand writing. The first draft of the first decent novel I wrote was handwritten.

This year, I’ve found myself going back to handwriting more and more. Rather than turning to my iPhone writing app, like I have for the past couple of years, or taking my netbook everywhere with me, like I did for the few years before that, I’ve begun to carry a full-sized notebook and pen with me everywhere I go.

At first, I thought I was going to go back to writing my first drafts by hand. But I’m impatient. That took too long. Plus, I’ve found that as much as I like it, my handwritten scenes are almost done in shorthand–there’s not nearly as much description, or the exact turns of phrases that I like.

Last week, I stalled out on my current WIP, Darkglass. I’d hit a point where I knew where the story needed to go, but I wasn’t really sure how to get there. It was frustrating, because I reached the point where my protagonist, and the younger brother in the story, was finally beginning to stand up to his older brother, the antagonist. I should’ve been excited, but instead I was irritated.

So, one evening after dinner, I sat down with a notebook and pen, hoping that maybe handwriting a bit would get me out of the stuck spot. It’s a tried-and-true method for me. So I handwrote about two pages, but didn’t have time to type them into the computer that night. The next morning, I got up, headed right to the computer, and typed in those two pages–and kept going.

From Wednesday to Saturday of last week, I averaged 1,500 words a day. I’d get up every morning at 6, write for an hour, spend the next hour getting breakfast for Justin & Toby & getting ready for the day, then return to writing for another hour as Toby played. Every evening before bed, I’d look at what I’d written on the computer for the day, then handwrite another page of what happened next.

That handwritten page got me going in the morning, and I found it easier to keep going after that. On Sunday, I didn’t get on the computer, but I still handwrote 9 pages. I’m hoping to make this a habit and keep it going, even through our summer vacations. Hopefully this trick keeps working for me that long! 🙂


About H. A. Titus

H. A. Titus is usually found with her nose in a book or spinning story-worlds in her head. Her love affair with fantasy began at age twelve, when her dad handed her The Lord of the Rings after listening to it on tape during a family vacation. Her stories have been published in Digital Dragon Magazine, Residential Aliens Magazine, and four anthologies: Alternative Witness; Avenir Eclectia Volume 1; The Tanist's Wife and Other Stories; and Different Dragons Volume II. In December 2013, her short story "Dragon Dance" won Honorable Mention in a Writers of the Future contest. She lives on the shores of Lake Superior with her meteorologist husband and young son, who do their best to ensure she occasionally emerges into the real world. When she's not writing, she can be found rock-climbing, skiing, or hanging out at her online home, hatitus.wordpress.com.

2 comments on “A New Habit

  1. That’s great, Heather! Neat trick!

  2. A big problem with handwriting is that I can’t seem to write fast enough to keep up with my thoughts yet it used to work perfectly well in pre computer days. What I find handy is having a little dictation tape recorder I got in a car boot sale in my car. -I always get good ideas when I’m driving.
    Best wishes, Steve

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