Today I was in the middle of handwriting an essay assignment, and my favorite pen of three years gave up its last line of ink on the word "thankful." I thought that was pretty cool given that I'm making a conscious effort to be more thankful this year.
I'm currently a graduate student, so I'm of the "to be early is to be on time, and to be on time is to be late" frame of mind these days when it comes to getting my work done. The death of my pen would have flustered old Karmen to the point where she'd lose her train of thought right where that ink dried out, but I was able to pick up right where I left off with a new pen. Whenever this happens to me when writing notes for an assignment by hand, I make a point to begin again with a different color. I like proving to myself that I've progressed beyond being so thrown off track by little things like a pen running out of ink.
Think it's weird that I prefer to write everything out before I type it? Well, here's why!
1. I think of concepts in pieces. When I'm writing, I find myself wasting a large amount of time if I try to force myself to write things in order. If I think of something that makes sense, I'll start with that idea and elaborate on why. After I'm done, I'll skip a line and write/elaborate on something else related to the topic at hand that I feel makes sense with my assignment. After I feel like I've written enough, I go back to each paragraph and rank them in order according to how I would use them in a final form. That way, when I start typing, I can spend less time on the computer being distracted by my Facebook timeline. My goal is always to get my assignments in well ahead of final deadlines.
2. It's soothing. I handwrite things anytime I'm feeling anxious, whether is due to daily stressors or a big assignment that's due in a few days. When I'm anxious and wanting to calm my brain, I'll jot down song lyrics as a way to refocus (the last thing I remember writing down word for word was Beyonce's "Don't Hurt Yourself). For assignments that have me rethinking why I even decided to go back to school in the first place, writing everything by hand first makes it easier to validate myself and my efforts. I can turn to a page and say, "look at all this work I did!" versus cackling at a hilarious video someone posted on my Facebook timeline while a blank page of Microsoft Word is open on my computer screen. (Noticing a theme?)
3. Because this is what happens when the computer comes out. If you have cats of your own who are addicted to your lap, you know this struggle all too well. If I've written everything down first, I don't feel guilty or more stressed by taking a few minutes (or thirty-minute nap) with the kitties. When the quality time is over, I can pick up right where I left off since the writing is already done.
Are you a pen/paper combo fanatic? Have a ton of sticky notes? What's your writing quirk? I wanna know in the comments section!