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comment by thenewgreen
thenewgreen  ·  2589 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The Odd Habits and Curious Customs of Famous Writers

    ack Kerouac was especially partial to scrolling: In 1951, planning the book for years and amassing ample notes in his journals, he wrote On The Road in one feverish burst, letting it pour onto pages taped together into one enormously long strip of paper
-I had never considered how stunting the loading of a piece of paper must have been to the creative process at times. Imagine that you are pouring out scenes, one after another but have to pause to load another piece of paper or change an ink ribbon. For all of the nostalgia that exists for typewriters , there were certainly limitations too.

Aside: kleinbl00, I think you'd enjoy this read -also, how is your friends documentary on vintage typewriters going? Is it completed? If so, where can I view?

kleinbl00  ·  2589 days ago  ·  link  ·  

It's called acting, dear boy.

Dunno. All this "I must do X to write" has always struck me as twee to the point of irritating. I have my preferences but anybody who needs their magic pencil in order to compose is looking for an excuse.

As far as the loading of paper, I disagree wholeheartedly. Banging through pages is an actual, physical process and loading a new sheet isn't much harder than hitting the carriage return. Not only that, but hey - there's a finished page there! By way of comparison, in order to get some sort of grasp on what the hell I'd accomplished at any given time I'd play pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey with this site. "It's as long as The Old Man And The Sea.. It's as long as Catcher In The Rye. It's as long as Joy Luck Club. It's as long as Girl with the Dragon Tattoo." It took me some hunting around to put it in perspective; finished, without editing, it's within 1500 words of this. Compare and contrast - once I had it to the point of editing, I had Scrivener reformat it for galley. It was only then that I discovered it would take about a ream and a quarter just to print the fucker out... presuming I made no mistakes.

The documentary is on Hulu.

b_b  ·  2589 days ago  ·  link  ·  

My first (of four) majors in college was literature. I wanted to be a writer, but not because I thought I had anything interesting to say. It was purely because I was in love the beatnik ideal, with locking myself in a room and drinking myself to death for the craft. After a short while, I realized that no matter how much booze I consumed, and how much I starved myself, unless I had something to say, I probably wasn't going to get very far. Thus, I switched.

ProtrudedDemand  ·  2589 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Come on now, everyone has something to say. I know that might sound a little naive but it's a truth I hold to firmly. Everyone's had something in their life that's worth talking about. Even having nothing happen is worth talking about. The more stories and opinions that are put out there, the more equipped we are at understanding life.

thenewgreen  ·  2589 days ago  ·  link  ·  

That's funny, my second of three majors was photojournalism, much for the same reason. I loved the idea of being a photojournalist, but I severely lacked the "chops".

As for the post, there is something to say for a process that is yours and yours alone. I pitched in high-school baseball and I had the same process at the mound for each person at bat. This process put me at ease and allowed me to get in to a "zen" like mode. -Though I'd have looked at you sideways back then if you suggested I did anything "zen".

I have had similar routines for other athletic endeavors, but I've never incorporated ritual or routine in to a creative process. It's different every time. I don't need my special "pick" to play the guitar etc, I just play the thing.

_refugee_  ·  2588 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Let's not forget Keouac was jacked up on amphetamines the whole time he wrote On the Road, which might also have effected his "feverish" or erratic behavior and may have been a factor in his scrolling habit. I think it makes a lot more sense that he did that, and found the process of adding a new page "stunting", when you have that context.