I know a guy (let’s call him Paco) who loves to write. His dream would be to write for a living but for now he writes a column for online and print newspaper when he’s not working 9-5 in a garden center. About ten years ago Paco made a conscious decision to try and become a writer. Actually, he knew there was no option but to follow his heart. He felt there was something very natural inside of him that needed to come out. So, he took a job that does not make a lot of money or have great benefits but allows his writing to come out. Paco is my hero!
But, what’s even more cool about Paco is how and where he writes. His day job gives him the ability (and the experiences) to write while at work. His small, spiral notebook sits inside the back pocket of his Carhartt bibs at all times, and whenever he gets an idea, he races off to the bathroom to scribble out notes. No one is aware of all of this tomfoolery because Paco, to be sure, is a very responsible employee. You might catch Paco watering plants, but he’s also deep in thought, crafting sentences.
His columns are roughly 1,000 words each (then get trimmed down to 800-900 words) so he uses a pocket size notebook to take notes. He normally writes at work for two to three weeks, jotting down sentences and sequencing stories. And then Paco sits down for a week in his kitchen at 5:30am, takes all the handwritten notes and creates a finished story on his laptop.
The beauty to all of this is Paco admits he would not use an electronic device even if it was ready at hand. “When I am writing notes for a column my hand and brain are in sync whereas having to type is laborious and slow. Nothing beats pen to paper. It’s all about flow, one that connects the rapid firing of thoughts in my brain to the page. The thoughts come boom-boom-boom…sometimes in the checkout aisle of the grocery store, sometimes at the gym…and it’s way easier to get them on paper. Plus, if I took my random notes on an electronic device and later went back to check the writing, it would look like some crazy wacko typed it.” Crazy or not Paco, you placed your heart in the right direction and are keeping your words alive by handwriting. Bravo my green-thumbed friend.