How Writing in a Notebook Changes Things

The start of something golden or just a bunch of random crap in a memo pad?

I recently started doing JuNoWriMo, a writing competition run during June in the spirit of NaNoWriMo. Before I started the month, I’d started a “random novel” written only in this very memo pad pictured above. The idea was to just write something and not worry about it at all. Since I’m editing my main project Hunt of Fools (still a working title) I wanted to start a side project that wasn’t as serious. I figured if I did it in a notebook it would be less pressure because, shit, it’s not TYPED. I’m not sure why something typed has more pressure put on it, but it just does for me. It’s much easier for me to type a novel, but I’m finding more and more that writing in a notebook just pleases me more. I feel at ease. I write in rapid scribbles, sometimes almost frantic. Since I mostly write in my notebook on commutes, I really have to write with mad abandon. I don’t have time to think, to consider an outline, or worry if it’s making sense. It flows.

I’m finding that as a writer, I need both plotting and pantsing to function. I like to have a structured, planned story, but I also like to write without caring at times. Writing in a notebook feels more carefree for me. There’s something more organic to it that I enjoy.

Even while writing this blog post I wish I could write it in a notebook.

As I move forward with my writing, I hope to try two things:

1. Write a novel with a word processor. Structure it, plan it, and make it a nice, polished piece.

2. Write a novel with a notebook. Don’t give a shit. Write. Love it. Relish it.

I can have my cake and eat it, too. The key is just to finish both.

My mantra for 2014 and beyond is “Finish what you start.” And that I will.