I had to briefly look up analogue, because while I know the word, I had to go and get a solid definition. It’s a weird word to me, not being something I use or even think about in my daily life. Over the last, hmm, ten, twelve years I’ve been going incrementally more digital in virtually everything.
My music collection is all on iTunes, stored into an iPod roughly the size of my palm. I don’t even buy CDs now, preferring instead to buy digital downloads. Reading is a similar story, but not to the same extent: I buy ebooks for the fact that the work (say, 97% of the time) is by a lesser-known author. It’s convenient, and it also allows for more storage space when I do buy physical books – rather an ongoing process. At the same time I love to ruffle a new book, enjoy reading a personality into it and giving it some kind of reader-appreciation life.
When I make notes of anything at all, I do so in longhand on an app. If I want to learn a language, I download an app and music in the language. Taking notes is a thing of the past, more or less.
I think my one remaining concession to analogue content is handwriting. If I’m doing a piece of fiction, I’m more likely to type, but this is mainly for the pieces where I want to watch my word count. Once upon a time I did go through, handwriting stories, but it got to the point where I was fed up trying to manually count my words every second paragraph.
Poetry it is, then. I’ve always liked to handwrite my poetry. Somehow I feel like I get a better sense of the flow and rhythm than if I were to type it all slowly, and having one hand free to count out syllables or tap out a rhythm makes it easier. I like my handwriting, too. It tends to range from pretty cursive to wildly curly, depending on my writing state. If you were to pick up my poetry notebook and flip through, I think you could get a good measure of my mind just by looking.
Pretty cursive = slow, neat writing. Thoughts are moderately quick, easy to record.
Wild curls, lots of flourishes = dramatic. That’s not necessarily to say I’m a dramatic sort, but that this is probably done when I’m racing to keep up with my thoughts. It happens a lot.
I feel like handwritten, for myself, is also a form of delaying gratification. In a world where I can pick a font, write endlessly and still be able to read every word, I like having to work for it. Instead of simply devouring words, I have to read carefully. Pick out the words, follow a rhythm, and observe the page’s stories: are there stains or scribbles on the page?
There’s also something immensely satisfying in finishing up something with sore stiff fingers and knowing that you had to work a little more to get it finished; it’s like putting a tiny bit more of yourself into the work.
And, just maybe, getting more out of it.