A Kiss Before Typing
Lately— before attempting to really, really write— I kiss pen to paper instead of bringing out the keyboard. Like this weekend, when I wrote a letter to my next book...
Okay, let's talk. You and me, God in the Yard. I left you around chapter 5. Mind you, I didn't really leave you... I've just been sorting through the outdoor journal, playing the piano and flute, drinking tea out in the snow and listening to the wind. Did you know that the wind has a sound?
It is the sound of touch and tussle— not the wind's voice but the movement, sighs, whispers, cries of its lovers as it brushes by... the hemlocks, pine, maples, the neighbor's back door swinging her hips...making that saucy 'bang, bang' noise, open shut open shut, you can have me no you can't.
So I haven't really left you. I've just. I'm. I'm like that neighbor's door— open shut open shut. My mind all alive and everything as you pass by, flapping and rising, falling, filling, stilling at the thought of you. I haven't left. I'm just waiting for you to find me, rush me, plaster my senses to the back fence, corner me 'til I blab.
Now to my tea, indoors. To read my notes and to write something, anything...
After I played around writing that in my journal, I was able to approach my manuscript afresh, with less anxiety. It was a good day. Anyway, as I see it, here are the benefits of writing in longhand before sitting down to type, whether we're crafting a book manuscript or a blog post...
- the mind opens up in a whole different way, maybe because, as Richard Restak observes, writing by hand stimulates the brain more than typing (or at least differently than typing)
- longhand has a sense of flow and an unfinished quality that helps us play
- similarly, composed type looks so finished that we get prematurely serious; we're think we're finished, when what we really need is a good edit
Benefits aside though... who wouldn't enjoy a little kiss before typing?
If you try writing a letter to an inanimate object or a person (I know, in some cases these might seem one and the same), let me know and I'll link to you. For instance, I could see Linda following up on her Blog-it-From-a-Photo project by writing a letter to her saddle shoes or her father (or both! but maybe not at the same time).
The Kiss photo by L.L. Barkat.
YOU TRIED IT:
Katrina's Dear... (Note: the letter to the Cheez-Its is not to be missed.)
Erica's Letter to My Unfinished Novel
Laura's Sheltering In
Sarah's Dearest, Darling Novel
Ann's Pain to Poetry
Unknown Contributor's Grandmother
Jennifer's Poetry of Facebook
Kim's For My Friend
LL's Holding, in 'Hungry for Sabbath' post
Erica's Work of His Hand
Joelle's Speak Nothing