Words, Words, Words

Paper is wonderful! Recently, it has been replaced by the computer, which makes a lot of things easier and convenient, but it is not quite, quite the same.  

For the last several days, off and on, I have been working on a story I started last January, using Scrivener as the editor.  My Chrome book is also seeing use.  And finally, paper and pen when I just don’t want to look at another monitor, or just want to go outdoors and enjoy myself.

While I am not going to go into what I am writing, I do want to explore the process of writing.  As the title of this entry suggests, words are very important.  One of the things I find so irritating in an author is a failure to provide a variety of terms.  For instance, I recall a very popular recent author whose use of the same word within a few sentences has driven me to distraction!  What is wrong with finding a synonym?  In prose, variety is important, but in poetry, the repetition of sound creates a very different pattern, and so the usage of a word numerous times may be very appropriate and artistic.

This is where paper and pen can come to the aid of the computer-produced manuscript.  I like to take what I have written and give it double- or triple-spacing.  Then, stapled together, I take it someplace outside or at a coffee bar and sit with a pen to edit.  I circle, I cross out, I re-write.  In short, I edit with a different perspective because I am seeing the writing on paper.

While I love the convenience of computers and such, I also love the feel of a good pen on a piece of paper.  The experience is physical and sensual and intellectual all at once.  And it is a very real experience – just like we are trying to create for our readers.

Pondering . . .

When I wrote that last entry, in January 2017, I was still on vacation and filled with the idea that, yes, I could do it all.  But I couldn’t.  And I can’t.  Work sucks it out of me, and what little time there is requires things which require little time – snatches of time – to do anything.

Doing nothing is worse than doing a little.  Little things add up.

And it is darn hard to realize this.

I’ve been reading a book called Essentialism by Greg McKeown.  While a lot of it is oriented toward business, it also talks about one’s personal life.  Up front, I don’t care about my job.  I do it because I need to, but it doesn’t thrill me.  It doesn’t leave me cold, either; I really enjoy a lot of it, but my personal, creative life suffers because of my work hours.

And so, part way through the book (I still am reading it), McKeown asks the question:  What is the one thing you are really passionate about?  Yes, the overwhelming question.

For days, I pondered this.  What do I really feel passionate about?  What is at the core of my being?  And what emerged is simply writing.  Writing about everything, physically writing with a pen on paper, at the computer, expressing my thoughts.  And with paper comes paint and ink and colors and words.  And history and stories and ideas and the world pre-PC.


Little did I realize when I started this blog that Journey by Paper would be such an appropriate title.