Confessions of a Consummate Scribbler

And What shall I Write

Image by tomswift46 (No Groups with Comments) via Flickr

I woke up this morning so proud of myself.

I listened to my body last night and went to bed at a decent hour.  I woke up feeling rested and without my too-familiar reading hangover.  I poured my cup of coffee and went straight to my computer, opening up my WIP to its current draft.  I read over my changes so far, and with a rush of ideas, started to attack the next scene.

Then, nothing.

After about a minute, the cursor spent more time standing still and blinking rather than trailing words behind it.  I turned on Pandora radio, and tuned to my trusty Disturbed station, hoping angry, discordant music would remind me of whatever it was I wanted to say.  Still nothing.

It wasn’t for lack of ideas.  After all, the rough draft for WIP1 is finished.  Sure, most of the words cobbled together barely pass for sentences, but at least the words are there waiting to be rewritten.  Yet, the internal ramblings that woke up with me this morning and prodded me to my computer just, well, stopped.

Finally, I started doodling on the notepad that I keep on my desk, humming along to some Linkin Park.  And, what started out as daisy chains on a yellow notepad became the scene that I dreamed about when I woke up.

Thinking about it, I shouldn’t be surprised.  I’ve always been a scribbler.  I’m never without at least a notepad; my Moleskine notebook is a constant fixture in my tote bag.  I wrote most of my rough draft by hand first, before my fingers were able to fly over the keyboard and flesh out most of my thoughts.

I just figured in this drafting stage, I would be able to just do the changes straight on the computer.  Clearly, my brain disagrees.  There’s just something about the blinking cursor that my muses do not enjoy and so render me wordless in its presence.

So, I’ve made peace with the idea that I will just scribble and type through this drafting stage as well.  Though it may seem like an extra step, at least it’s helping me move in the right direction: a finished draft for my beta readers.

So Tell Me: do YOU have any writing quirks? Surely, I can’t be the only one with a writing Monk-ism.


24 thoughts on “Confessions of a Consummate Scribbler

  1. Pingback: few minutes |
  2. dawnall says:

    Lordy, no! I love that use of Monkism. It’s appropriate. When I’m at the 2/3 point in a WIP, I always come to a dead halt. I have no idea why but it happens with every one so I’ve come to accept it. The only thing that jumpstarts me is to leave the WIP and begin writing isolated scenes with the characters that are just fun – I call them candy bar scenes – and it reminds me that I like this story and I like these people. It’s no longer work, and I’m able to begin again.

  3. Melissa says:

    I hate writing on paper. Sometimes the computer can be a total distraction & mind block, but my thoughts run about 800 times faster than my hands are capable. Put me in front of a keyboard, though, and I’m more apt to keep up.

    It’s frustrating. Maybe I need to seek other venues.

  4. chenoafawn says:

    Hi Liza. In Australia ‘blinking’ is often used as an expletive adjective.

    Exhibit A: “He’s a blinking idiot”. Best said as blinkin’ for full effect 🙂

    That blinkin’ cursor…

  5. Alannah Murphy says:

    I can relate to this, sometimes, I need to engage my brain by grabbing a pen, and scribble something on paper BEFORE I get to the computer.

    At this moment, when I am revising and editing, I am finding that I need to write about what I am planning on doing on paper, and only then, transfer the idea to computer, but when I am writing a brand new chapter, then, it works better to go straight to the computer.

    • Liza Kane says:

      Yes, I did experience some of this during nanowrimo when I just wanted to write SOMETHING: I was able to type whatever when I didn’t quite care so much 🙂
      Of course now I’m getting hung up on trying to get the right words out, which is probably why the scribbling helps me: reminds me that this stage of writing is still just for me, and no one else 😉

  6. Kati Bartkowski's storysketches says:

    I have to handwrite all my earlier drafts too. There’s something about seeing my own handwriting that helps to inspire me to write more, and it always feels like my words run more smoothly together if I scribbled them out on line-paper first.

    • Liza Kane says:

      I think, too, that I feel more free to write whatever comes to mind when I scribble first…like my inner editor is turned off so I can really engage with my muses.
      Nice to meet you and thanks for sharing!

    • Liza Kane says:

      My fingerless gloves are definitely a mainstay in my writing dresscode: my fingers get really cold if I sit for too long! They especially helped during the craze of nanowrimo, so I tend to think of them as my lucky writing gloves anyway 😉

  7. stickynotestories says:

    I can’t write straight onto a computer to save my life. I have to hand-write everything: 7 novels, multiple short stories, the beginnings of new WIPs that I never finished. That’s why I always have the stickies with me 🙂

    Scribblers unite!

  8. Michele Shaw says:

    I’m the opposite. Writing it down makes my hand ache and slows me to a crawl. I’d never get anywhere. Sure I have random jots here and there if I think of something while out, but usually, I must sit and type. That’s what is great about writers, each so unique in approach and voice. I can’t wait to read something of yours, Liza:)

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