Last night, I started writing a new story. And I did it the old-fashioned way: I sat there with a pad and pen and began writing it longhand.

Not only that, but rather than printing, I wrote in cursive, something I haven’t done since 4th or 5th grade, and it shows. I can barely read my own writing. But I can write faster that way than by printing, and I can read it well enough to make it out. Still, it was an odd experience. I have forgotten how to make some of the cursive letters and so I just make things up as I go along.

It managed to write about 350 words last night, which doesn’t sound like much, but represents the entire opening scene of a story that I don’t expect to be much more than 3,000 words. I am targeting this story for ANALOG. As of yet, I don’t have a title, but it is a hard science fiction story that takes place approximately 100 billion years in the future, making it by far, the farther far-future story I’ve ever attempted to write.

It felt good writing long-hand, by the way. It was a change from the laptop and keyboards upon which I work all day long, and I think that change helped to make the writing session into a novel experience. I can’t say how long I’ll keep up the writing of first drafts in long hand; it does seem rather inefficient compared to how fast I can type. But the pleasure I derived from it was enough to make me want to continue doing so, at least for a while.

About Jamie Todd Rubin

Jamie Todd Rubin writes fiction and nonfiction for a variety of publications including Analog, Clarkesworld, The Daily Beast, 99U, Daily Science Fiction, Lightspeed, InterGalactic Medicine Show, and several anthologies. He was featured in Lifehacker’s How I Work series. He has been blogging since 2005. By day, he manages software projects and occasionally writes code. He lives in Arlington, Virginia with his wife and three children. Find him on Twitter at @jamietr.