Tuesday, February 14, 2006

A writer who doesn't like to write?

Over the past few eons, Renaldo, Stewie and (sort of) Lesley all wrote about these moleskin/moleskine notebooks.

No, I don't know which is the correct spelling. No, I'm not mocking whichever one of my above blog-colleagues misspelled the darn thing. I've been editing too long to not realize there's all kinds of chaos when it comes to spelling, particularly if brand names are involved. You know, like Ping-Pong, the trade name for what most of us call, well, pingpong. The not-trade-name.

So whether it's moleskin or moleskine, or whatever, the point is, these three are into cool little notebooks used by famous people to write down famous things.

Which got me thinking.

Well, that and getting up way too early this morning due to various misunderstandings and obligations.

So before I take a nap, I find myself with something to write about.



Not handwriting, like penmanship, handwriting, like writing stuff down by hand. I've been scribbling notes all over a piece of paper this morning (see "obligations," above) and that brings me full circle to moleskin(e) notebooks, because I don't use a notebook (except to actually take notes, such as, say, when playing D&D, or Madden 2006, or if I'm at a presentation or class or something, or when covering something journalistically).

These guys clearly like to write things down in these special notebooks, emulating the great writers of yore.

I, a writer (or at least I fancy myself one), hate writing things down.

No, not true. It's not that I hate writing things down, it's that, when I write (such as now, or on my columns or reviews), I never physically write.

I type. I do all my drafts/notes/etc. on a computer. This one, in fact.

So if I had a moleskin(e) notebook - and believe me, reading my colleagues' blogs, the temptation is there to buy one - it would just be, well, a nice blank notebook.

I can only think of about four things I regularly write stuff down for, and the only thing I've recently bought any kind of notebook for is my D&D game - so I can track hit points, etc. - and I would never use such an impressive notebook on any of them. That's not sarcasm, that "impressive." I'm impressed by any fancy, literary-type thing. It's just that I would never use it. I have nothing to write in it - I would want to write my drafts, my notes, my poetry, etc.

But I type all that. In Word.

Why is this?

I think there are a couple of reasons.

First, as you may have realized, I'm something of a stream-of-consciousness kind of writer. You here, my blog readers, see what I'm like basically off-the-cuff. (As opposed to my fiction, say, which goes through drafts and revisions.)

And frankly, I type a helluva lot faster than I write. And when I'm done, I can read my typing, even if there are typos galore.

My handwriting, especially when rushed is, to put it charitably, bad.

Heck, even as a journalist, I use a recorder (or type, in the office) rather than relying on my handwriting to take notes. That's right, I'd rather trust double-A batteries and cheap-ass technology than my own penmanship.

(Aside, the first "C" I ever got in school was in third-grade penmanship. One of only three Cs I got in my whole academic career.)

Second, well, wait, second was the handwriting quality.

Third, everything's on the computer. I can lose little slips of paper with stuff jotted on them. Sure, knock wood, I'm relying on my computer to avoid having problems (like the time I lost all my e-mail when Entourage crashed last year). But the point is, having it all here, where I can call it up, beats having to find it in my disorganized life.

Fourth, revisions. Like I said, I don't revise this blog. But I revise my other work - and it's easier to hit delete and cut-and-paste than it is to rewrite all kinds of stuff by hand. Especially when (a) your handwriting sucks; and (b) you think fast and write a lot slower.

Anyone who's ever seen anything hand-written I've revised could tell you, I've got stuff scribbled in between lines, I've got stuff in the margins, I've got stuff along the sides, upside down, crammed in wherever.

Not a pretty picture. Certainly not worthy of a moleskin notebook. Or even a moleskine one.

Modo & Modo, makers of Moleskine (!) notebooks
Moleskine, Wikipedia-style (note the reference to moleskin; this isn't clarifying for me)
Moleskin, Wikipedia-style

Nap time!

1 Comment:

Stewie said...

For some reason, I handwrite a MUCH better first draft.

Something about handwriting appeals to me--as if the brain-to-pen-to-paper feels more natural.

And those moleskines rock.