31/12/20193

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I don't know if it's just the Field Notes notebooks or whether they've triggered a change in mindset but, whenever I have one available, I always start writing there rather than on my phone.

That's quite a shift for me.

Somewhat ironically, this wasn't written by hand as I didn't have a notebook with me.

There have been a few times in my life when something has just clicked and my behaviour has changed. For example, when I was seventeen I realised I was drinking way too much, bordering alcoholism, so just stopped. And earlier this year I just stopped biting my nails despite having done so since I was a kid.

I think that's just how my mind works. I can't tackle a number of things at a time, I only seem to be able to make a change to one thing whether I mean to or not.

The drink was very much a conscious decision, stopping biting my nails just sort of happened but once I'd started (er, stopped) I just carried on and it's been the same with using pen and paper.

Whatever the reason it's been a happy accident but it's a change that I like and, as with the others, hope that it sticks.

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# Comments

Writing by hand necessarily introduces an additional editing and review phase that wasn't there before.

When typing posts from scratch I would really only be performing a final check for grammar and errors whereas transcribing from paper to screen forces me to re-read and re-evaluate what I have written.

Occasionally, I'll redo entire sections as I look upon things with fresh eyes, there being a delay between the initial writing and transcription. However, there usually aren't too many changes but I do find myself catching a few things that I might otherwise let slip.

#bypen

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# Comments

I want to get to a point where I no longer use the #bypen tag on posts. It's historically been the exception rather than the rule that things have been written by hand but that is something I plan to remedy. I suppose I've already started.

Making a big deal about something only serves to set it apart when I instead want it to become more the norm. Ultimately, it shouldn't make a difference how something is written, just that it is.

At the beginning of November Derek Sivers wrote a post titled "Writing daily, but posting when ready" after an experiment posting to his blog every day for a month. His conclusion was that his writing was worse, not better as he was forcing a conclusion just to get something published.

I've mentioned how I no longer feel the need to post every day and now feel the separation of writing by hand from the act of publishing will give me more space; space to think, to feel, to explore.

When everything is created digitally the urge to hit publish is compelling; it's already there typed out so why not. The added friction of transcribing between states introduces a necessary delay that allows for reflection.

I plan to write daily but post when ready. Writing daily may not always happen but it is something I want to happen. I have a tendency to write in full posts, start at the beginning and go through until it's finished as though I am getting ready to post. I don't make notes I make posts and that's limiting.

Writing doesn't mean completing.

I don't jot down thoughts or ideas, observances or aides memoire. I don't doodle or draw or be creative in any other way. Switching to pen and paper may be a mindset change but it is one that I need to be more comfortable with, more expansive.

If I have any creative wish for 2020 then that's it.

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