anchored in light

A lifestyle blog about finding light in every avenue of life

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Handwriting 50000 words





Why would I attempt this madness you ask?

Well, NaNoWriMo.
Also, my favorite author of all time, Madeleine L'Engle once said in an interview that she wrote all of her novels by hand and then typed them on a typewriter (I definitely fell into the rabbit hole of looking at typewriters on Amazon this week).
Then I recently fell in love with Rebecca Stead's work. The first book I read of hers references A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L' Engle and I recently found out that she also writes her books by hand. Or, at least she has recently.
This led me to deciding to try and write my book this year by hand for a couple of reasons beyond loving authors who have written their books this way. 
I wanted to see if I could do it. Last year was the first year that I didn't finish my 50000 words in the month of November. Mainly because I'd just gotten married. Before that, I'd participated for 7 years and won every time. I knew that I could easily type 50000 words, but I wanted to challenge myself, and see if I could write better another way.
Not to mention that the first book I ever tried to write I wrote in a notebook by hand. It was what made fall in love with writing and really believe that I could be a novelist.
However, handwriting comes with a few pros and a few problems.

Problem 1: Literally every pen hurts to write with at the end of my 2000 word goal for the day. (which I actually counted out the first day, but now I just approximate the number of pages that would equal 2000 words. 3 pages front and back if you were curious)

Problem 2: I actually think I write better this way. Which means that I have to do it forever. Yay.

Problem 3: It takes me around 2 hours a day to hand write 2000 words. As opposed to 40 minutes for 2000 words before.

Pro 1: I think I actually write better this way.

Pro 2: I almost never get stuck. I used to get stuck with writer's block. So far, that hasn't happened. Granted my method to get unstuck before was to hand write a scene or two and now it's all handwriting.

Pro 3: I don't get distracted as easily.
It's just me and the paper. There's no Pinterest or Facebook or anything else a handy click away. I don't have to do anything like turn off my wifi to keep myself focused, I just start writing and go.


I must say that I have been so impressed and so supported through this journey so far. After the first day, I decided that I needed some sort of pencil grip or something to help cushion my hand as I write and my dear Captain went out and bought some for me. He's also taken it upon himself to cook dinner almost every night and do his own thing whenever I'm behind on my goal for the day. He even went grocery shopping yesterday so that I could have a little more extra time to write. Seriously, the man is gold. I've always heard stories about spouses or families doing things like this for other people during NaNo, but I've never really gotten to experience it first hand. I have never felt so loved and taken care of. He's never complained or tried to convince me to type it on the computer instead, even though it would mean less work for him, less time for me to be away, and a meal ready and waiting for him when he gets home from work. Instead, he's planned his every day around the time that I need that day to write. 

I'm very lucky to have him. I'm also very lucky to have 3 Fridays off of work this month. All in all, I'm loving NaNoWriMo so far. 

Are you doing NaNoWriMo? If so, have you ever attempted hand writing your novel?

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