I have returned to the 21st century
The Regency retreat this weekend was glorious fun. I’ve just spent much of the day transcribing the, approximately, 5500 words I wrote while there. I was determined not to bring my computer this weekend, since it was supposed to be full immersion — plus indoor plumbing and central heating — but I was two chapters away from the end of the novel. I had already packed paper, a dip pen, and ink, so I decided to give writing longhand a try.
I fully expected to shift to a fountain pen after page or so, but spent most of the retreat camped by one of the windows with my quill and notebook. At night, I wrote by candlelight. It was surprisingly easy. I think it affected my sentence structure, making it a little longer and more complex. Certainly, I had more time to think as I composed because I had to pause every three of four lines to dip the pen.
However. It was also significantly slower than writing on the computer. I also seemed to be less likely to reread what I had just written after taking a break. I used a 45-minute sand timer to remind myself to stand up, stretch and get a fresh cup of tea. With the computer, I can quickly scan the typed page to see what I had written previously. With the long hand, only about a hundred words fit on a page and it required active reading to go back over what I’d just written. This wasn’t so bad when I took a full break, because I knew I needed to reread. When I paused to talk to someone though, the pen was still in my hand and I think I felt like I was still writing and seemed less likely to reread. So, I feel like parts of this are sort of a mess.
But, it was a great experience and I’m glad I gave writing this way a try.
The rest of the weekend was amazing as well. I need to do a full blog post about it but want to wait to have some more photos. I did not take my camera, but there were no shortage of photos being taken.
Meanwhile, I find the overhead lights at home over bright and miss sitting around the fire gossiping and sewing. A truly delightful weekend.