Last night, I started writing a new story. And I did it the old-fashioned way: I sat there with a pad and pen and began writing it longhand.

Not only that, but rather than printing, I wrote in cursive, something I haven’t done since 4th or 5th grade, and it shows. I can barely read my own writing. But I can write faster that way than by printing, and I can read it well enough to make it out. Still, it was an odd experience. I have forgotten how to make some of the cursive letters and so I just make things up as I go along.

It managed to write about 350 words last night, which doesn’t sound like much, but represents the entire opening scene of a story that I don’t expect to be much more than 3,000 words. I am targeting this story for ANALOG. As of yet, I don’t have a title, but it is a hard science fiction story that takes place approximately 100 billion years in the future, making it by far, the farther far-future story I’ve ever attempted to write.

It felt good writing long-hand, by the way. It was a change from the laptop and keyboards upon which I work all day long, and I think that change helped to make the writing session into a novel experience. I can’t say how long I’ll keep up the writing of first drafts in long hand; it does seem rather inefficient compared to how fast I can type. But the pleasure I derived from it was enough to make me want to continue doing so, at least for a while.


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