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A Change of Pace

I'm taking a two-week break from the Kyndall story to write a contemporary Christmas novelette, and you'll know the reason why in a few months. When I started on this new story, it came easily. And then I hit fifteen hundred words.


Now, fifteen hundred words is not a lot, and I NEVER run into a block at that point. Often after thirty or forty thousand words I will have to pause for a couple of weeks and regroup, but fifteen hundred? Never.

I did something drastic, something I thought I would not enjoy beyond taking notes. I pulled out a legal pad, a pen, tucked myself into bed one night, ignored everything else, and wrote in long-hand.

I've always been a fan of writing out notes, plot lines, ideas, etc. by hand, but not the actual manuscript. I type much faster than I write, and I think too fast to write it out without causing my hand to cramp.

It took only half a page to discover the secret of writing long hand is to slow down my thoughts in order to keep pace with my writing. I still had to write semi-fast, which resulted in horrible penmanship, but what a difference.

I couldn't rely on the back space (enter pen scratches) or easy access to the internet for a quick fact check. I made question marks in places I needed to double check the info, or a little note in the margin for research purposes.

Little numbers keeping track of my word count did not appear at the bottom of the paper, so I just wrote without overthinking anything. After typing everything into the computer, and watching those numbers quickly rise, I discovered my word count after three days was double what I normally write in the same time frame.

I can't believe I waited so long to try it. The best part is the change of pace. I write more while spending less time in front of the computer. Instead of having too many words jumbled in my mind, waiting for their turn, my thoughts slowed down, and I feel more in touch with the story.

There are moments when I still want to reach for the keyboard, knowing how much faster I can type than write, but I do not foresee going back. How this will affect my output, I do not yet know. I'm simply going to enjoy the change of pace.

I have discovered a new level of joy to writing, when I did not believe it possible to love it more. I've finished transcribing the pages into the Word manuscript, and shortly I will find a quiet space outside by the flowers (another great joy), pen and paper in hand, and return to the words.

My wish for you is that you find your joy, and perhaps a new change of pace that brings you more at one with that joy. Do let me know how it works out for you.


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MK McClintock
Award-winning author MK McClintock writes historical romantic fiction about chivalrous men and strong women who appreciate chivalry, like those in her Montana Gallagher, British Agent, and Crooked Creek series. She enjoys a quiet life in the northern Rocky Mountains. 
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