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Lately I've been experimenting with writing my first drafts in longhand in notebooks, before typing them onto the computer. According to Neil Gaiman, this is a good way to make you think more about the words you write before you write him (remember me? I'm the guy who founded the Neil Gaiman cult). What do you think of the idea? Merit or no? 

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If all you have is an idea, a pen, and a notebook, write it down. First drafts are always going to be shit anyway. Write your second draft down in pen too if needs be. When you get to the third draft, maybe on computer, you should be figuring out where the excess shit is and getting rid of it. Who gives a fuck what Neil Gaiman thinks, he's not going to kiss your arse so don't kiss his. Write for you. The best way to learn is to do...

I tediously edit as I write so I've found I've grown too lazy and too OCD for longhand (I'll restart entire pages from scratch over one marked out word or a few sloppy-looking letters; OMG if I have to mark out a whole paragraph). I only write notes and outlines that way because I don't feel pressured to make them look nice. I also think better at those tasks in longhand, and am especially more creative for them if I write in my non-dominant hand (a technique I use for writer's block, plot holes, etc.). I even have a notebook dedicated to writing notes and plots with my left hand. However, when it comes to the actual task of writing, I type it all the way. I write faster in that form and the abilities to cut, paste, delete, etc. makes editing much easier to do than in longhand. I won't say I've never kept notes on my computer, because I do (and I save internet articles that way, too), but they don't feel as proper as the ones I do in longhand. I guess I've made that another OCD thing, LoL.

I don't have a specific writing method. I agree that longhand makes you slow down and think about every word, but I can't always write fast enough to keep up with my thoughts. Most of my poetry and prose is conceived with pen and paper because it is slower and feels like I'm sculpting with words until I have shaped something to take to the computer. Most of my stories are created on computer with notes jotted into a notebook when I'm nowhere near my computer. Now and again, I'll find the story flows best from my pen and the poem on computer. Writing is an art and therefore should be created using whatever creative method suits the writer. Neil Gaiman uses the method that works best for him. We're all unique. I don't believe there is a right or wrong method.

However you write, it doesn't matter, it's the ideas and words that come out at the end that count! Sometimes an idea will come when you're somewhere you cannot write in the way you wish and the back of a receipt will make a great canvas, other times you can toil for years with a super PC + state-of-the-art software and nothing will come of it.

I'd hand write but it feels like a waste of paper. I also tend to feel the need to revise in the middle of a sentence, sometimes. I appreciate those who can hand write but I've spent far too much time on a keyboard to ever practice it, now. Not to mention I used to get hand cramps!

I don't care, as it happens what he thinks. At least not in the way you mean. I deeply respect his work and he is one of the principle influences of my own attempts at writing. But I do write for me. 

This is an experiment with a method new to me, nothing more. 

Rob Coker said:

If all you have is an idea, a pen, and a notebook, write it down. First drafts are always going to be shit anyway. Write your second draft down in pen too if needs be. When you get to the third draft, maybe on computer, you should be figuring out where the excess shit is and getting rid of it. Who gives a fuck what Neil Gaiman thinks, he's not going to kiss your arse so don't kiss his. Write for you. The best way to learn is to do...

Writing longhand (or shorthand) in notebooks is a good part of the process, when having an idea wave and you're not at the keyboard. I've got pages of written notes, which are invaluable, but typing is faster for me to put thoughts down, into a draft of on a list of details I do not want lost. Typing is more fluid, productive way for me to form a work.  

I do both, longhand in almost unreadable hand in notebooks followed by the "what is that word?" typing it up. I also write just on the keyboard. One of the problems I have with typing is every time the red line appears I end up stopping and fixing the word thus interrupting my flow.  Writing it out longhand is faster and more of a flow of thoughts but then I know I have the horrible chore of typing it up later. The plus side of typing it later is that I can edit and improve with less emotion. I am more likely to start a new story in longhand, more likely to finish if I am typing. 

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