Being a writer isn’t necessarily one of those jobs that leave you covered with dirt or chalk or charcoal. We can sit at our desks for hours, tea by our side type-typing away. I love writing and I love typing, but sometimes when you walk away and Word is powered down, it’s hard to feel like you’ve accomplished anything.
I’m currently working on revising my MS, and for the first time I’ve printed that baby out, hole punched it, and put it in one of those large, 2 1/2″ binders. I don’t know why I’ve never done that with a draft of mine before… Maybe because I didn’t want to pay for the ink, or maybe because the computer is much more transportable than a huge binder. But I’m serious about making this revision count. It’s important.
I’ve got to admit, editing with a blue pen is magic. I’ve always enjoyed editing other people’s work, so taking the pen to my own work is kind of fun. I’m not staring at my computer screen for once, which actually is a big motivator for me. Before I’d say, “But I just spent 5 hours doing emails. Why do I want to keep plodding away on my computer?” Now, I set up shop in a new room, MS open in front of me and put pen to paper.
I can really see my progress now– both by the copious blue marks, but also just by the pages that I’m collecting on the left side of the binder. I’m editing a BOOK. Not just a word document.
Maybe it’s because I use cheap pens, but this method also gets my hands as dirty as maybe a painter or a sketch artists’. Fingertip to knuckle on my right hand were covered in blue ink by the time I’d banged out 14 handwritten pages last night. I was cramped a little and dirty, and it was AWESOME.
I just wanted to share because writing and rewriting and rewriting again can be onerous. It can be infuriating. But getting your hands dirty is always fun.