So on March 12th, I started my notebook experiment, limiting my screen time and writing my WIP in a notebook with a pen. It's now April 28th... and I have to say, I haven't actually turned on my netbook in over a month. (Which is something I really should do, since I don't want to kill the battery.)

I've finished a prequel and a novel, and started writing where I'd left off in A Glint of Silver. The transition, which I thought would be more difficult, hasn't been very hard at all. In fact, it's been quite freeing, because when I'm writing, I'm writing. There are no distractions of the internet, of email. If I am interrupted, it takes no time at all to pick up where I left off. I've transferred the existing files of my work-in-progress to my Nook, so they're within easy reach if I need to check something already written without turning on the computer.

The hardest part? Sitting down in front of my computer to type handwritten pages. I've not been doing this weekly, as I first thought... and that might have to change so I'm not stuck with 300 pages to type. Or else I'll have to hire a typist, lol.

I bought a refillable catridge for my Lamy Safari pen, and it's quickly becoming my favorite. I love the extra-fine nib and the way the ink flows. Considering the cost of the ink cartridges (around $1/each), the refillable one is much more reasonable. I can buy a 3-ounce bottle of Noodler's ink for around $12, and that will last me almost forever--okay, maybe not almost forever, but pretty darned close. I would like to write an entire novel using ink, paper and fountain pen to see how much ink one novel actually uses up.

Is this more sustainable? I'm not using recycled paper (yet); I'm using the notebooks I have on hand (so far.) The one I'm currently using has lovely, thick paper, thick enough to write front and back with a fountain pen (which is a great thing; a lot of paper is too thin for that.) I'd been using up the one subject notebooks I still had from when I wrote in notebooks before, and these are at least from the late 90s; now I am writing in a hardback journal-type notebook that I picked up a few years ago at Tuesday Morning.

And yet, I'm also not using electricity to write with. And if my whole goal with this is to not be tethered to a cord (or battery), then I'd say it's more sustainable. I can buy recycled notebooks. I can actually make my own ink, or buy it from someone who made it, or keep using Noodler's, because it's great stuff. I can use nibs and an inkwell instead of fountain pens if I want to. Heck, if I really wanted to get into this, I could make my own paper and bind my own notebooks.

Cost-wise, perhaps this will give my desktop a few more years of life. While computer equipment isn't expensive (especially desktops) anymore (I could get a brand new, smaller desktop for under $400, I think), I wonder what the breakdown for electricity use, and suchlike would be over the course of the life of the desktop. Has anyone done a study like that? I wonder.

I do find it rather ironic that I'm handwriting novels to be published as ebooks, however. :)


I do find some things have to be written on paper. I am now trying to write in a journal every day - I, too, love my fountain pen and the refillable insert for it!

When I'm writing 'book stuff' though, I need the computer - I can type much faster than I can write and I do a lot of editing as I go ... stopping and going back over a paragraph or a page as I think through where it goes next, and I like to be able to change it on the fly, which is much easier in pixels than ink.

But sometimes - things just have to be done with pen on paper. Good pen. Good paper. It matters.

I'm so glad to hear I'm not the only one who finds that. :)

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