• Tag Archives Sharpie
  • Writers, Writing, and Fetishizing the Process

    I am still–and continually–reading Page Fright, which means I have become more obsessed with the process of writing than usual. It also makes me think of how both writers and non-writers fetishize the process, giving birth to the idea that ‘real writers’ write longhand, or only use typewriters; that ‘real writers’ must have certain conditions met–perfect silence, a particular type of paper, a certain brand of pen or colour of ink. It can lead many budding or potential writers to believe that unless they also adhere to these ideas, they cannot possibly write and will never be ‘real’ writers.

    Yet this fetishizing of the process comes with a grain of truth.

    I’m leery of the idea that a ‘real’ writer must do anything but write, but I also recognize that I have my own process that I find difficult to deviate from. When I write by hand, I could use a ballpoint pen if that’s all that’s available, but I vastly prefer my Sharpie pens because I like felt tip pens and Sharpie has everything I want in a felt tip. I can write in a typical word processor–OpenOffice, say–but I’m only truly comfortable with a Scrivener project where everything is set just so.

    I have my preferred formatting (Times New Roman, 12pt, 1.5x line spacing when drafting; Andalus, 12pt, 1.5x line spacing, printed with a 2″ right margin for editing and rewriting) and my preferred setting (on the bus or train; in a coffee or tea shop, or in a diner; at the front desk at the motel where I work; and always within speaking, texting, or tweeting distance of fellow writers). My Moleskine notebook–where all manner of notes both writerly and practical are written–must be black, and so must the Sharpie pen I write in it with. I edit in green Sharpie pen, and my critique partners get their critiques written in purple and orange Sharpie pen, respectively.

    I have these rituals which surround my writing, but they have all developed as the result of squeezing the most writing time possible out of a very busy schedule. I write longhand at work because it is more practical and edit longhand because it gives me a fresh look at my work; I write and rewrite in Scrivener because the labels and folders help me keep track of where I am in my writing or revisions. I save and compile redundant copies all over the place because I don’t ever want to lose the work I’ve done. Everything I’ve incorporated into my writing process is there for a purpose.

    And that is the most important consideration for any part of the writing process. Writers write; how we accomplish that must be there to help us continue writing, not tie us to conditions we won’t always have the luxury of meeting. So whether you write longhand or exclusively with a computer, and whether you use fountain, felt tip, or ballpoint pens, find a process that works for you and keep on writing.

     

    Do you want to read an erotic short story by yours truly and stories by 43 others while supporting a worthy charity? Of course you do! Get the Felt Tips: Office-Supply Erotica anthology by Tiffany Reisz today! EBooks available at AmazonSmashwords, and Barnes & Nobel


  • A Kobo, a Dropbox, and a Sharpie Pen

    Since today is Back Up Your Novel Day, I thought I’d share with you how I work backing up my novel into the daily process of writing so that I never forget to do it.

    First and foremost, I use Dropbox as my primary save folder. Anything saved on my computer is automatically backed up, without my even having to think about it. First draft, second, third; it’s all there, and I can access my files remotely if my computer crashes or if I don’t have access to it for whatever reason.

    I also tend to work at least partially in hard-copy, whether it’s writing at work during November or editing and rewriting during the rest of the year. Granted, this is only a partial back-up, but thanks to my printer and any one of my numerous Sharpie Pens I have a hard copy of whatever I’m working on somewhere… even if that particular filing system leaves much to be desired.

    Finally, and as an aid to the writing and editing process, I save an up-to-date version of my novel on my Kobo. I just compile from Scrivener (love you guys so much!) into epub format, save it directly to my device, et voilà! An easy-access quick-reference to everything I’ve written in my novel thus far, and–you guessed it–another back up.

    And that’s just what I do on a daily basis. At semi-regular intervals, I also back up everything I’ve added or changed on my computer, my phone, and my Kobo onto a usb key. I even have copies on there of things I’ve deleted from my other devices for reasons of space or convenience (it’s no fun scrolling through several hundred photos on your phone just to get to the latest one).

    If you’re like me and have backing up your work built into your creative process, good for you! You’re ahead of the game. If not, think of this as a reminder to back up your work, and to think of ways that you can do it more and more often.

    I’ve shared only a few of the ways you can back up your work. What do you use? How do you make sure you won’t lose all your hard work to a computer crash? Share your answers in the comments :)