Writing as a Process

Ever since I held those fat pencils in first grade and learned to write my A, B, C’s, I liked to write. And I liked to draw, but that’s another story for another blog.

Back in the days when I wore a school uniform and we learned to not mumble when talking, and we were polite by saying, “Yes, thank you,” or “No, thank you,” and we practiced how to curtsy and bow (yes, we did!), writing reports and essays could only be done with pencil or pen (starting in fourth grade) and paper. There were mistakes and erasures, or if using a pen, there was the crumbling up the paper scenario and starting over.  Crossing out was never allowed.

Then in freshman year in high school, I learned to type on a manual typewriter. I was bad at it: slow, nervous, mistake-full, and I could write faster than I could type. There was only one electric typewriter in the classroom, and it was reserved for the best typing student. Good. Let her have it.  At home, my parents had a Sears Signature electric typewriter. That was even worse for me because the keys were so much more sensitive than a manual typewriter, and it was like power steering on a car: I didn’t like the loose feel to it. Therefore, when I wrote my short stories and poems, it was pen and paper all the way. When I had a typed report to write, I first wrote it out, then typed it.

Three years later, I got my first office job, and my typing skills improved. I grew to like electric typewriters. I got better and better, and one day I could type faster than I could write. Finally.

Then one day at work, they brought in a few – very few – computers. Commodore 64. IBM. AB Dick. They had those huge twelve-inch floppy disks. Everyone in the office had to share. Eventually, computers became cheaper, and now everyone in the office has his own to use.

Suddenly, when the computers appeared at work, it became easier for me to write. By that time, I had a job where I wrote lengthy reports and speeches, and it was so easy to think a thought, type it out, change my mind, back up, erase, re-think a thought, and retype, all without wasting paper and ink. Eventually I bought my own computer for home to bang out short stories and poetry.

These days, I find it easy to write via a computer, and equally so with pen and paper. I also keep a small notebook and pen in my purse to write down outlines and phrases that pop into my head when I’m out in the world. Many of the poems I published first saw the light of day in my hardcover journals. When I’m ready to get a creative piece set for publication, that’s when I start hitting the keys. Putting my work on the computer becomes a friendly editor.

Now I’m using my writing skills for the on-line bead business my beau and I own. For each of the over one thousand items we have in the shop, I am currently working on writing product descriptions for each bead or beading supply we offer. The section that gives specifics, such as type, size, material, et cetera is mundane – clearly cut and dry. The fun and challenge of writing begins with how I can cleverly describe each item so that our customers get a better idea how to use the product, yet keep their interest at the same time. I prefer an it’s all-business with a tiny humorous twist approach I want our customers to have that little smile on their faces while they put items in their cart, eagerly anticipating their shipment to arrive.

It’s not to say that every description I write has a little smile to it; some beads are a little difficult for me to write beyond, “(Here are all the specs); these tiny beads work well with peyote stitch projects.” Yet, what’s nice is that I can at any time, when the Creative Writing Muse visits me, go back on-line and re-write that boring description to something spectacular.

Therefore, although in some applications I much prefer the pen and ink route, there is a necessity in parts of my life where a computer is better and more efficient.

©2017 Susan Marie Molloy and all works within.

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3 Comments on “Writing as a Process

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