Longhand Wrangler


Isn't it awful?
Here’s the thing, I have the worst handwriting on the planet. Now, perhaps you are wondering why, in this day and age of computers, Iphones, Ipads etc. does my handwriting even matter. And while, yes, I write my books on technology, usually a combo pack of Word for Mac, Iphone, Evernote for Ipad etc. But every so often, particularly when I begin a new story I write longhand, on a yellow legal pad with a black ink (always black there is no other color with which to write) gel pen. I’m not entirely sure why I do this except that for some reason I think there is a volatile, emotional, wildy electric connection between the head, the heart and my hand that brings a story alive, gives a new character solidity, even more so than seeing her emerge on the computer screen, and my brain moves very quick (quickly?).
The trouble is, I have terrible, terrible handwriting. As you can see in the image above. And it is so frustrating because I write sometimes amazing wonderful sweet, beautiful inspired words but when I go to read it back or type it into Word, I can’t read my own words! Argggghh.
I think I’m hopeless. I try. I really try to write neat (neatly?) but I just can’t. I never had good penmanship. Drove my teachers insane. “Joyce,” they would shout. “What does this say?” I’d usually shake my head. “I don’t remember.” This did of course lead to many not so great grades.
But somehow, I do manage to get my books written, by lots of longhand wrangling,  but sadly there have been times when I write something longhand that I thought was totally inspired at the time that got los t in translation. And that’s sad. But thank goodness for computers, right? You’d think so, but unfortunately my typing skills are not that much better than my penmanship. It’s a wonder I get anything done.

3 comments:

Pam Halter said...

Neat handwriting is hard when you're trying to write as fast as you think. Typing, too. We think so much faster than we can do things.

Chris Loehmer Kincaid said...

Your handwriting, honestly, is way better than mine. One of my huge stresses right now is when someone wants me to sign their book and write something witty and all I can think of is, "write neatly, write neatly". And instead I print - because I do not even know how to write in cursive anymore - like a four-year-old. And I feel like I just ruined the book they paid me good money for. It is a shame that handwriting is a lost art.

Joyce Magnin said...

Oh my gosh Chris, I know what you mean. I dread signing books becuase of this problem. It;s embarrassing. I want so much to have a glorious hand, but alas my signed books look like they've been signed by a deranged mental patient. Especially after I've been signing for an hour at ALA or some place.