I've just started a really great job working as a marketing executive for a fabric store. I've always made my own clothes and dabbled in patchwork, embroidery and knitting, and I've just started sequining. I'm learning all about search engine optimisation and the ins and outs of Google, plus I'll be paid to blog and tweet and get up to all sorts of social networking shenanigans once I've got the website whipped into shape.
The downside is the commute: two trains and a bus. Or, if I'm at my boyfriend's, a tram, a train and a bus. That's about three hours a day on public transport. (Even if I could afford a car, I couldn't drive it. I'm twenty-five with a learners' permit!)
Good thing I like to read, huh? The commute itself doesn't bother me at all. I'm going against all the commuters the whole way so I get lots of seats and space to myself. It's an absolutely freezing Melbourne winter and I've got a big white woollen coat and--hello boys--black woollen tights. (They're not as matronly as they sound, and not in the least bit itchy either.) And to make myself even snugglier, I pack a thermos full of coffee. No, Melbourne hasn't run out of espresso. I just balk at paying nearly $5 for a nice big soy latte everyday when I'm trying --trying--to save.
So I'm there in my wool this and that and I've got my coffee and there's not a chromer or loud mobile phone talker in a 10 k radius. I could read a book. In fact, that's what I did do all last week. But this week I took along my notebook and rediscovered the lost art of handwriting. Lost to me, at least. I do scribble notes in my notebook. I'm a list maker and a note taker. Sometimes when I make lists I put on stuff I've already done just so I have the satisfaction of crossing them off straight away. "Oh look, today's jobs are half done already. Go me!" But writing prose by hand. That's something I don't do very often.
This is how I write when I'm on my computer: type type type, backspace backspace, type, highlight earlier text, delete, retype, hit the end key, go up two lines, take out adverb, split long sentence into two, retype dialogue, hit the home key, go down two lines, repeat.
I'm all over the place. I don't often write linearly. The words expand on the page like bread rising. But on paper you've got to write more or less linearly, and then there are all your dull, inane sentences inscribed for as long as you let that notebook exist, for anyone to see, and not a delete button in sight. The best bloody thing about computers is you can fiddle with a sentence all day until it's perfect and then pretend it came out that way in the first place.
But I'm not going to be precious about it. I'm going to have a constructive commute and do all those things like plotting and thinking about character and setting and whatnot that I sometimes neglect when I open Word and just start typing. I will write linearly and not scribble. Try not to scribble, at least.