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Lobby 2. Welcome Main Community Discussion Board topic #91367
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Subject: "RE: Missing that feeling. " Previous topic | Next topic
Mesg #91381 "RE: Missing that feeling. "
Author Wandering Author     Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author Click to view this author's profile Click to add this author to your buddy list
Author Info Member since Jun 01st 2007
1569 posts
Date Sat Aug-18-12 12:30 PM
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In response to In response to 7

Sat Aug-18-12 12:34 PMby Wandering Author

Edited to add: I know I posted much the same advice recently on another site altogether, but can't quite be sure if I've said this before here on FM. (Since my other recent response is sticking in my mind and confusing me.) So if I've said this before, sorry...

I've been through this over and over in my life. I can't guarantee that what worked for me will work for you, but I'll explain what seemed to help just in case. (And, even if it won't work for you, perhaps someone else can use it.)

What I discovered, originally by accident, is that simply copying (in specific fashion, as I describe below) works I'd already written that 'worked' helped guide my mind into a good state for writing. Sometimes this process would take weeks, one very dreadful time took a couple of months. Since I made my accidental discovery, I've experimented with this - and there also appears to be science that at least suggests there may be something to my preferred method.

The least effective method was retyping old manuscripts. This did work, but it took longer and I also had to, very specifically, be typing "mindfully", with attention to what I was typing in order to revise whatever I could (sometimes I made almost no changes - the point is that I was thinking about what I was doing) and to avoid mistakes. (This was in the days before computers, when a mistake in typing a page was a larger issue by far than it is now.) On a computer, it is much harder, although not completely impossible, to do this at all. (I think this is because of the knowledge that it is so easy to fix mistakes and go back and revise, so it is harder to slip into that state where I have no choice but to pay attention to what I'm typing.)

The best method - and the one science seems to offer some support for - is to copy the manuscript out by hand. Literally. There are studies that show there is a particular neurological connection between the mind and the movements your hand makes as you write, that you are unconsciously thinking about what you write as you write it. The studies only show that you are much more likely to remember something if you write it down by hand - but that at least leaves the possibility open that the process may have other effects on your mind. In my case - for many reasons - I like to use a fountain pen to do this. Yes, I'm a fountain pen nut, but there are solid reasons for my choice as well, that I'll discuss below.

First, once you get used to using one, it is much easier to write with a fountain pen, since they require less pressure; a good nib, with a good ink, will almost skate across the page. Second, the result on the page is almost always more visually striking, and at least in my case, that seems to encourage the process a bit. Third, you have many more choices of ink colours (if you use bottled ink, as I'd recommend for many reasons as well) and so can select a colour that further inspires you. And you can choose a nib that works for you; in such a case, certain nibs like a fine cursive italic (which is, admittedly, a custom grind) produce a very inspiring effect on the page. Fourth, the actual process is subtly different from writing with any other sort of tool, and at least in my experience, those subtle differences make a real difference to the effects. (The time it took a couple of months to jump start my writing, I was using a typewriter. The fastest results have always been using fountain pens.)

Yes, this is time consuming. It does not need to be too expensive, as with a bit of care, you can get a decent fountain pen for not much more than any ordinary pen in the store - and if you use bottled ink, the cost over time is actually significantly less than using anything that requires replacement cartridges. According to one figure I've seen, in the time you use up one bottle, you'd go through at least $80 more in refills than you spent on that bottle of ink. (Although there is one caveat here - the lifetime of a bottle of ink is heavily dependent on the nib you use; if you pick a broad italic nib that's a real gusher, you'll burn through ink so quickly you won't see as much of a saving, although you should still be spending a bit less.) The important thing is to get enough of a sense of what might work for you that you don't have to spend a fortune experimenting with half the pens on the planet, as much fun as that can be.

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Missing that feeling. [View all] , atlantissong, Wed Aug-15-12 11:20 PM
  RE: Missing that feeling. , CatrinP, Aug 16th 2012, #1
RE: Missing that feeling. , Laevus, Aug 16th 2012, #2
RE: Missing that feeling. , atlantissong, Aug 16th 2012, #3
RE: Missing that feeling. , KatsInCommand, Aug 16th 2012, #4
RE: Missing that feeling. , eblgorton, Aug 17th 2012, #5
RE: Missing that feeling. , Wen Spencer, Aug 17th 2012, #6
RE: Missing that feeling. , atlantissong, Aug 18th 2012, #7
RE: Missing that feeling. , Wandering Author, Aug 18th 2012 #8
      RE: Missing that feeling. , WOO, Aug 26th 2012, #10
RE: Missing that feeling. , crimson_angel, Aug 25th 2012, #9

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