…..something I’d always done up until about seven years ago, when I switched entirely to writing my novels and scripts directly onto a Word or Final Draft document. This was in large part due to a trauma that affected me in such a way that writing in long-hand felt too intimately connected to my brain. It would take three novels and a stage script before I found my way back to using pen on lined paper again.
I think it would be fair to say that the project that drew me back to writing in long-hand was, perhaps, a little ironic. The setting of the story is in the 1920s, decades before computers would replace the typewriter, a time when pencil or pen was also a more commonly used method to write down ideas, create poetry, stories and develop essays. This particular story is about passion, sensuality and love between two people, a particularly intimate story that has presented many challenges.
And that’s how writing long-hand is to me – an act of pure intimacy between the mind and the page. I love watching as the ink swirls across the page, forming words or shapes or quick sketches of horses. It’s almost never planned, those words or images – I often allow myself to go into a kind of trance and allow my subconscious to go where it wills. There’s something hypnotic about the way my pen feels in my hand, pressed against paper, as I try to keep up with the story playing out in my imagination.
Which is not always easy to do.
And which is always the challenge.