I'm not sure if October is giving me tricks or treats when it comes to electronics. Last week, my laptop's sound suddenly stopped working. When I tried troubleshooting the computer, it died. It was nine years old (I got it the week I published Lyon's Legacy), and I'd already replaced the hard drive on it a few years ago, so it wasn't worth trying to repair it. Fortunately, I'd started saving up for a new computer last year and had enough for a mid-range computer (still a step or two up from my old one). I ended up purchasing my new computer from Costco and even got it on sale. Of course, I had to wait a couple of days for shipping, plus a couple of extra days before I received the notice I could pick up my laptop.
What does a writer do when her main writing tool breaks? I have a netbook as a backup, but it runs on archaic software and is very unresponsive. Even if I wiped its memory and tried to restore it to factory settings, I don't think it would work with Windows 10, and I might not be able to use whatever version of Windows it originally came with. So I went old-school and satisfied my writing urges with pen and paper. Although I have a printout of the first draft of Murder at Magic Lake, I decided I didn't want to revise it manually, especially when I need to add new scenes. I ended up starting a new story in the Season Avatars world, one set after Summon the Seasons.
Writing by hand is much slower than typing. My cursive is hard to read, and my printing isn't much better. (I'm left-handed, so that's my excuse.) I used a legal pad, and my goal was to write at least one page every night. The words came fairly easy, considering sometimes I struggle to find words when I'm typing. Each hand-written page was about 200-250 words. When I finally received my computer on Saturday and transcribed my story with a few minor edits, it was about 1,100 words. It doesn't seem like much for several day's work, especially when some writers can manage a thousand words an hour, but it's still better than not writing at all. The experience makes me wonder if I would have been a writer if I lived in a time when computer's weren't available. Of course, many other aspects of my life would be different as well.
How do you feel about writing stories by hand? Does it make a difference in your story flow? Do you find handwriting or typing easier physically on your hands? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.