Tea, coffee, ginger beer (lashing of), shortbread. Help yourself.
Last night, in bed, surrounded by pads, notebooks, scraps of paper, a clipboard and pad, pencil in hand, scribbling away and arranging, I wondered how others work.
I embraced computers (metaphorically, you understand) back in 1987 when I first started work in museums. Not long after, I bought my own – also an Amstrad PCW.
Much as I loved my first computer (and still remember it with great fondness – my first published book was written on my 9512), my writing habits had long been set and I still feel comfortable with them.
My ideas, notes, rough drafts, all go into notebooks (A5, wire-bound, with perforated pages). As books fill up and ideas develop and merge, I tear out relevant pages and clip them together and keep them in folders or boxes. I also go through my notebooks on a regular basis to see if there is other material I have forgotten about which now has a home.
From there, I generally start my first draft by hand, transferring it the computer on a daily basis (I write mostly at night and type in the day). Once I have a draft on the computer, I print it up and work from the typescript using a fountain pen with red ink.
Each draft has a new file on the computer, but I have to print up. I simply cannot create on screen. So, apart from using Word for storing and making edits, I don’t use the computer much for writing.
So, how about you – are you a dyed-in-the-wool scribble it down and type it up sort like me, or do you like to use the computer and all the latest software?