[DWJ] not writing one's own books

Margaret Ball margaret at onr.com
Wed Jun 14 12:32:54 EDT 2006

Minnow wrote

> I suppose, though, that if one were writing the whole thing by hand for a
> first draft, or if that were how one had started one's writing career and
> were what one was used to, one might simply carry on and trust to going
> through the first draft with a red pen later when one reached second-draft,
> rather than doing red-pen correction as one went along.  Computers make
> retrospective correction a lot easier, since one doesn't have to re-write
> whole pages to fit in the paragraph one forgot or to move something from
> one end of a chapter to the other, but people who didn't start out with the
> computer might have got set into a different way of doing things?
It's an intriguing hypothesis, but I dunno. Pre-computer most of the 
writing I did was mathematical, but I used to drive my colleagues crazy 
by writing in ink on a yellow legal pad and very thoroughly blacking out 
any mistakes before proceeding to the next line. I think some of us are 
just compulsive Neat Freaks....now if only I could turn that compulsion 
away from paper and towards Reality as represented by this house, which 
sometimes seems more like Stallery when someone's been pulling the 
probabilities too often....how else to explain the fact that a white 
plastic case full of crochet hooks just turned into an empty purple 
plastic case, or that the jewel case for some Mozart piano concertos 
disappeared while I was sitting right here, adding said concertos to the 
computer's music library? Yeah. It's not that I'm messy. It's those 
damned magical changes.

-Margaret Ball

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