My Biggest Aid In Writing . . . Hmm, Aspirin?

When I heard the blog topic for this month I went, huh? I'm expected to limit myself to one book? Ain't gonna happen. Just like the other WARA ladies, I am an avid reader. Growing up I spent so much time with my nose in a book, family members stopped asking where I was at family events. It was easier to leave me to my story than to try and pry it out of my hands. They were probably afraid I would hurt them. They were probably right.

Reading was my safe place. I could enter any world, any situation, any adventure and come out in one piece. I could experience places that I may never see in the flesh. Reading opened up new thought processes, new realms, new cultures and new places for my vivid imagination to roam. I could be anyone I chose when reading. Do anything I wanted to do. (And not get arrested.)

Andre Norton was a particular favorite. Her Sci-Fi books were read and re-read for at least two decades. I still hunt one up every now and then. Phyllis A. Whitney was another. I was introduced to her at about age fifteen.  We were visiting relatives out of town and I had some serious female cramps going on. My aunt, bless her heart, gave me a paperback copy of Thunder Heights to read while prostrate on the couch. I was hooked. Now I had a serious avenue to walk my imagination down, love stories. I could write a new one every day . . . in my head. I'm sure being a hormone laden teen helped. The old Gothic Romances are still some of my favorites.

Barbara Mertz, aka Barbara Michaels, aka Elizabeth Peters, kept me busy for quite some time. I never get tired of reading Crocodile On The Sandbank or Summer Of The Dragon. I never drooled over Radcliff Emerson but Tom De Karsky, oh, yeah, big time! My mouth is starting to water even now.

. . . Uh hum, now back to the original subject. For me the biggest aid in writing was not a particular book but the computer. I willingly admit, if I had to hand write thousands and thousands of words to create my books, I would have never started. My hand cramps just thinking about it. My brain too. I applaud, with sincere praise for their dedication, all the writers over the centuries that wrote their stories with pen and paper. I guess I'm too lazy, or too horrified, of the thought of editing and re-writes. It boggles the mind.

I am still computer illiterate in many ways, just ask Roxann, but I can word process with the pros. Well, maybe not the pros, but at least my grand-kids! Okay, I try! Very hard!

I digress. Computers have made the writing process a thousand times easier and faster than writing by hand. Making an, oops, go away is simple. I have lots of those, and with the punch of a button, viola!, they disappear. I wish dust bunnies and dirty laundry would mind so well.

Even though I am not overly fond of technology, for the writer a computer is their best friend. You can type up any piece of junk you want and your computer will never tell, unless you forget to hit delete. You can also take that piece of junk and turn it into a masterpiece by working with it until it gels. Inserting, spacing, cut and paste, delete and new paragraphs can be used at will. Creation is work. Creation is often hard, but with the invention of the computer, it's easier than it's ever been since the beginning of time.

So, get to work!


Reese Mobley said...

Great post, Becky. My handwriting has gotten so bad that I can't read it once it gets cool. I think all of us would be lost without our computer.

Melissa Robbins said...

I agree on the computer, although I would love to type something on my grandmother's typewriter.

When I was a kid, I would handwrite my stories on notebook paper.

Joan Vincent said...

I love Phyllis Whitney and Elizabeth Peters too. I have the entire Peabody set of books --just wish they were digital now! I wore out two typewriters back in the late 70's and early 80's. One was a heavy duty office Selectric purchased after I sold my first book. Considering my handwriting is illegible even to me at times It's a good think computers came along! I've learned several new words because of them, not necessarily technical terms. But over all, yes, kids don't truly appreciate word processing!