The Evolution of My Writing Process

IMG_1294 I existed in a time before computers, at least before they were in common, everyday use as they are now. We live in a time when it would be hard to imagine a life without them.

Now I do all my writing with them. Pictured here is the first page of my notebook, which is what I used to write my first book. This must be my second draft, because it is dated July, 1995, and I know I began writing the story before that.

That pointy thing on the left side of the page is called a pen. That was my preferred instrument for writing. I held it in my right hand and made marks on the pages of my notebook that not many people besides me would ever be able to read.

I took this notebook and a pen wherever I went. I remember sitting at my kids’ swimming lessons at the YMCA, writing in this notebook.

I finished this part of the process with two and a half thick notebooks. You might think I then put it into the computer. No, I still didn’t have one, and if I had, I wouldn’t have known how to use it. The next step was to begin transcribing and re-writing, not with a computer, but a typewriter. I wanted to include a picture of one of those, so you could get an idea of what they looked like, but alas, I think I threw it a way in a mad day of house cleaning.

IMG_1295
The Evolution of Fly Like a Penguin. Has it reached its final stage? Time will tell.

I remember getting my first typewriter, when I entered the working world and could afford one. It was a state of the art Smith Corona, which had cartridges with either ink or white-out on them. When I made one of my at-least-once-every-sentence mistakes, I just had to take out the ink cartridge, backspace to my mistake, pop in the correction cartridge, re-type my mistake, take out that cartridge, put the other one back in, and type what I intended in the first place.

Believe it or not, that was a great improvement over what came before.

When I began hearing about word processors though, I began to be very impatient with my typewriter. I wanted a word processor. But eventually we got a computer, and I learned how to use it and Microsoft Word.

All those notebooks and my typewritten sheets  had to be transcribed into the computer, which took quite a while. Once that was done, I began the long process of re-writing with the hope of getting published, which is another story in the whole evolution of my books.

Since then, my writing has been done with the computer. Now I find it very hard to use that pointy thing with ink in it.

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