Pen to the Paper

Pen to the Paper

This post was written last night in a three ring notebook with a gel pen. My favorite was once a fountain pen because they write faster. And I may be going back. Fountain pens have a good aura around them. But I'm a pen whore anyway. Next month it will be something else.

I have written too much at the keyboard lately, using a pen and paper mainly for jotting notes and memos. I missed watching the ink fill a page,broke down late night and went back to the old school method of writing. I have had a love/hate realtionship with writing on a keyboard. Too mechanical. Too much like a factory.

The first articles I wrote for the internet were written as fast as I could in a notebook, left to sit a while, and then edited while I typed them up in notepad. Those were written when Greymatter was the open source blogging platform of choice, but I hadn't even heard of blogging yet.

The computer splits my attention way too easily sometimes. I wake up at 4:30 every morning to get to the office at about 5:30. This gives me an hour and a half to get some work done for myself before I have to start the old day job. I download affiliate reports, check for comments on two blogs, import sales data into a Filemaker database I wrote and check my email. I open my laptop and start all the software I will need at one time and then wait for the damn thing to load. As this is going on I make notes on the possible ideas for posts that I ran over in my head as I laid in bed the night before. Not a second is wasted. Who needs coffee?

I lie. I do. In fact, I am at least one cup in by this point. And by the time I get to the writing part, my mind is still jumping. "I need to get over to MyBlogLog and check this out. That post looks like something I can comment on." The result is that most of the time I end up with short, choppy sentences, unfinished sentences, and blatant misspellings. And then, because I am still going warp speed, I proofread quickly and miss a lot of misspellings.

So here (uh... there) with only a pen and paper to distract me, I can direct all of my energies through the point of the pen to the paper and see a noticeable difference.

Stephan Miller

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Kansas City Software Engineer and Author

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