Jack Kerouac famously typed out the manuscript of On the Road on a long scroll of taped together paper. Edgar Allen Poe is said to have done something similar. Both of these writers left behind significant physical artifacts of their writing processes. There’s an archeological weight to their words.
The majority of words I’ve written are committed to paper. My handwriting is poor and hurried, leaving most of it indecipherable, useless. I have dozens of unreadable notebooks. They sit in a box, maybe for posterity.
Most of my blog writing is done directly into WordPress. Pictures are usually added in after the words are done. After I finish my year of blogging, nothing physical will be left. I’ve thought about removing all the writing when I’m done and starting over. Another year will have another set of rules. It might be a photo based effort. It might be poetry based.
While I love the daily practice of writing, I don’t love the quality of the writing on my blog. Sometimes life intervenes and I blast words out. Inevitably these are the pieces I get the most positive feedback on. It works the same with my freelance work. Whatever I write in a panic at 4am before an early morning meeting often exceeds the client’s expectations.
Despite inarguable success with this hasty method, I know rewrites and longer research periods would help improve things. I dream of more thoughtfully rendered pieces informed by deep reading of old texts. Maybe one day.