The Daily Post’s writing prompt “Pens and Pencils,” asked the following question:
When was the last time you wrote something substantive — a letter, a story, a journal entry, etc. — by hand? Could you ever imagine returning to a pre-keyboard era?
Here’s my response:
I scribble things all the time: grocery lists, inspirational notes to myself, thoughts I wish to develop into blog posts, things I need to tell my mom while on the phone (otherwise I will never remember until after I hang up) etc. I also write personal thank you notes or personal notes in holiday cards. But to write something from start to finish that was substantial and comprehensive, I can’t remember the last time I did that. The furthest I would most likely get is a rough draft and with the ability of smart phones to do so much more these days, most of my ideas or rough drafts are there and not floating around on a piece of paper.
The ability to edit via ‘cut and paste’ has made writing huge pieces of material so easy that doing so by hand seems almost pointless. It’s so clumsy — so outdated! And with the advances made in recent years to save the environment by going paperless or attempting to do so, there’s a tug on the conscience every time I grab a piece of paper to scribble. Hence the reason I save blank scraps of paper from the mail like opened envelopes, documentation that has a blank backside, paper stuffing from packages etc. And once I’m done I set aside those used scraps to be recycled and not trashed — to further save the environment.
A few days ago, however, I was forced to scribble a few thoughts on the back of a newspaper because my daughter had my phone. Sometimes it’s the only thing that would keep her quiet long enough for me to take a shower (uninterrupted). But the account of that event can be better understood below:
“I don’t understand why you need to know what I’m doing in the bathroom!”
Those are the words I shouted at my 3 yr old when she asked, “Mom what are you doing in there? Are you pooping?”
Actually, I was about to take a shower, but as I went in and locked the door, the silence, however fleeting, allowed my brain the freedom to defragment the many thoughts and ideas that were floating about aimlessly and causing quite a clutter.
I scribbled as many thoughts as I could fit onto the back of the paper I was reading before they vanished. So what if I was sitting on the potty at the time? That’s no one’s business but my own! Or at least, that’s what I thought…
Embarrassing? Yes! I shake my head in disbelief that this is actually my life — A life where I can’t even take a shower (or whatever else) without having to ‘announce to the outside world’ my actions or intentions. But the sooner I make peace with this the better — at least for the sake of my sanity, for it is a life I chose — to be a parent!
Nevertheless, that’s the last time I wrote anything longer than a grocery list by hand, and those thoughts are still in rough draft form (on the back of the newspaper) as I am yet to refine them into actual finished products. They were/are great ideas worth noting, whether the rest of the world thinks so, that’s left to be seen. Can I imagine returning to the pre-keyboard era? Not likely — at least not of my free will! But if I HAD no choice I guess I’d survive, just as I assume my cave-woman instincts of survival would kick in (eventually) if I were forced to live in the wild (laughing aloud — at myself).
Contents written: January 18 2015 | Originally published: January 19 2015 | Copyright © 2015 – 2016 Moylom Enterprises