Thursday, November 04, 2010

No Writing Instruments Were Harmed (Fatally) In The Making...

A Pen-conomics Pencil Edition Addendum

No pencils died...

Just a brief final update on my previous post on the subject: on Halloween, I finished off another composition book journal. It was written strictly in pencil, over the course of the month of October: roughly the same span of time as the journal I documented here. The results? The blue California Republic Golden Bear I used most ended up short enough to be awkward to use for long periods, as I mentioned a few posts back. And the Forest Choice I also used a lot shrank by maybe half (I've actually used it a bit since then for NaNoWriMo, so it's shorter than it was on Halloween). I used a smattering of other pencils, too, though none long enough to do serious damage. In other words...not one pencil died, really! Compare this to the pen carnage...

Which means, from a purely financial standpoint, that if you use up an entire notebook a month (and, as my journal post shows, this is something I only do for about three months at a time every few years...), you would still only go through roughly two pencils a month. If you're using cheapish pencils, you could write for a year for two dollars or two-fifty, tops. Pencils are, as I had already surmised, pretty cost efficient, in addition to their many other fine qualities.

Now...we won't go into how much I actually *spent* on pencils over the course of the month of October.

It's easier (and more fun!) to use bunches of pencils rather than concentrating on a few since you can sharpen half a dozen and use them without pause, and I'll probably switch to that method now that I've sort of finished the "experiment." But I had to know!

How's NaNoWriMo going for everyone? I'm less prepared than ever before (I had a few character names, a vague idea that this was going to take place in space, and very little else), but except for a long diversion into back-story involving an eccentric entrepreneur who lived at least a century before the story began (still working out the timeline), and a great deal of telling rather than showing which would need to be remedied if I actually intended to do anything with this thing, I seem to be doing OK. I'm going back and forth between "wheee, this is fun!" and wondering why I'm doing this at all, but that's par for the course. I have about thirty comp book pages and counting--hoping to at least approach forty by the end of the evening. I'm a tiny bit behind, but nothing that can't be remedied by an hour or so at the coffee house this weekend, and considering this thing started on a Monday...could be worse.

4 comments:

snohomishwriter said...

I love pencils because they are simple, feel nice to write with, look good on paper, and, as you mention, they cost very near nothing.

For the ____th year in a row I thought about participating in NaNo but, as usually, just didn't. I suppose I could start now. We'll see.

deek said...

I hear ya LFP. My first 5 pages I was doing a great job showing and not telling. Then I realized that I was behind the pace by 1,300 words. So, I started telling more and going into characters head more, most of which wouldn't make it through my first edits, but, my word count is healthy...

Its always a give and take.

Little Flower Petals said...

It's certainly not to late to jump in if you'd like to try! Could always just try it for a few days. And if you have even the shadow of an idea you've been carrying around awhile, you have more than I did at the beginning of the week. Seriously!

And it's NaNoWriMo, so you can stick whatever you want in there, whether or not it makes any sense or is plausible. Which is why I somehow ended up with stuff like, "He filled the farmhouse to bursting with typewriters big and small, and not content with merely playing with one or another now and then, he rigged up a robotic network that activated the keys. With the press of a button, he could set every machine in the house clattering away, bells ringing at the end of every line; a deafening cacophony of churning, clanging, clicking, clacking rubber and metal. He tore gleefully through the house listening and loading paper. From a computer console, he set them to typing the Gettysburg Address, or the lyrics to Bob Dylan's "The Times They Are A Changin'" or his own name spelled out hundreds of times. He swore he could tell within a few seconds which of his favorite pieces they were typing, just from the rhythm of the keys, and he could identify each typewriter by its own sound."

It's my NaNo, I can do what I wanna.

Little Flower Petals said...

Aaaaand I just now noticed the big ol' typo in my first sentence there. I knows grammar, really I does.