I've been reading the excellent handwritten blog Can't Backspace and enjoying it but not imagining that I could ever hand write anything these days. Then in York the last few days I wasn't at my usual comfortable pc and I suddenly felt inspired to write a bit more of the story I'm working on. I had a notepad, I had a pen. We were on a steam train at the time ready to go for a little jaunt and I sat and wrote a few words while my husband hung out the window and took pictures.
It was so hard writing without the backspace key. I kept wanting to change things as I wrote and had to circle paragraphs and put arrows to where they should be. The sample below gives you an idea of what it looked like. The worst part is that it all seemed so clear at the time and now I'm having trouble reading parts of it. Oh dear.
I was chatting to one of the stewards at the Barley House, where they are recreating a medieval house bit by bit. He had quills with him and a horn for ink. He said that when he tells children that the ink was made of honey and soot they say, "What's soot?"
I remember using metal tipped pens that you had to dip in ink. The ink was usually lumpy and ran out after a few words. I can't imagine how I would have written a story, much less a novel, if I had to use those methods. The steward thought that people had better handwriting back in the day but I welcome technology: now however bad your spelling or your hand-eye co-ordination you can still produce writing that gets your ideas across. Surely that is the point?
I also remember when cut and paste involved scissors and glue but for inquiring minds out there: I did not use ink made of soot and honey when I was at school. I'm not that old.