Friday, 26 September 2008

writing in cafes

I could have done with an Asus Eee this evening. I was scheduled to meet a friend after work, but found myself running about an hour and half early. Perfect opportunity to go sit in my favourite cafe and write for a bit. Only I didn't have an Asus Eee, or even a paper notebook.

Fortunately, there's an Officeworks nearby, so I went in there and bought a paper pad and some pens and went into the cafe. (The one where they know me!) One cocktail and most of a glass of wine later, I had handwritten the first part of Act 2.

It was lucky that I spent yesterday evening reading over the existing draft of these chapters, and this morning's walk to work mulling over a possible opening to the scene. Not that I expect to use much of what I wrote this evening verbatim, but some of it will surely be useful.

It was such an enjoyable experience that it has firmed my resolve to investigate Asus Eees with greater vigour. After all, there are many times on a weekend where I feel as though I need to get out of the house to grab a coffee. For the first time I'm beginning to believe I actually might use a mini notebook computer for writing in cafes.

It was probably a good thing that the Officeworks where I went didn't happen to sell the Asus Eee.

In the meantime, however, writing by hand was productive, once I got into the swing of it. At first it was awful, because I'm so used to being able to edit as I go, and this made me reluctant to put any words down in case they were 'wrong'. But I got past that soon enough and found it quite librating. I found I started to care less about the pretty sentences and more about the ideas I was trying to get across. I didn't worry if I was using fragments, so long as the gist was there. I'm starting to think I should write by hand more often, to try to break myself of a tendency to be too precious about what I write. Maybe it will all come more easily if I 'let go'.

Maybe there's merit in holding off from buying an Asus to instead explore writing the old-fashioned way.

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