How I Used to Write

Since I’ve neglected the poor blog for a while, I figured I’d share an embarrassing story to make up for it.

I’ve mentioned before that I’ve been working on the same novel for ten years. Laura’s Letters which does not yet have an excerpt because I’m waiting for 10,000 hits, but you can read a bit about the principle character HERE. Guess what, this Christmas makes eleven. Is it finished? No. Is it published? Well if it’s not finished what makes you think it’s published? Silly readers, don’t ask silly questions.

Well, since this novel has been so long in the making, it has not only gone through many different character and plot developments, it has also gone through a number of different writing techniques and styles. First it was written in marble composition notebooks by hand, but my favorite system came after that.

I’d say I was eleven at this point, and the ancient computer from 1996 (you know, the kind that used floppy disks and needed dial-up internet if it even had internet capabilities) had run its course in mainstream home use, but it still functioned enough for small tasks. Essentially this became my own computer. My very first one. This was at a time when computers were just taking off and even though it was extremely old even at that point, I could still call it pretty much exclusively mine.  What did this mean?

This meant I wrote on it day in and day out.

But did I let my fingers fly across the keyboard never stopping until all ideas squeezed from my brain onto the screen? No. Why? Because I would stop at the end of each page and begin a new document.

Yes folks, for the longest time I thought word documents with multiple pages did not print the other pages. For whatever reason, in my mind the only page that was sure to print was the first one. So there I would sit. For hours in the bonus room (room above the garage for those who don’t have the same layout house as we do) typing my story. One page at a time.

They would be all colors too, these pages. The first of the day always had to be green. The best color on earth naturally deserved the treasured title of First Color. Then it was a free for all. Red battled with blue for the coveted second place, usually neck and neck for ten minutes before blue won the day. Unless it was Christmas. Around Christmas I wanted the continuity of red and green together. Pink was also quite popular, mostly because I liked all the shades word came with whereas there were some shades of blue and red I did not care for. Purple never failed me. NEVER did yellow make and appearance. Too hard on the eyes.  But orange only seldom finished the race. Occasionally it would enter stage left but for the most part orange and I left each other alone.

Why did I bother with all of this? Well the same reason you do and for the same reason I still enjoy printing my work now. There is nothing like holding something you have written in printed form in your hands. It just feels good.

Though you were probably smarter than I was and wised up to the fact that you can create a document with multiple pages and not worry about printing malfunctions.


About Miss Rosemary

is a recent college graduate from NY hoping to complete her novel of ten years. Stop by her blog, Miss Rosemary's Novel Ideas at or contact her at with comments, questions and suggestions. She'd love to hear from you! View all posts by Miss Rosemary

7 responses to “How I Used to Write

  • Brown Eyed Mystic

    LOL. I had a chuckle while reading this. I don’t mean in a mean way but it was so . . . so innocent of you to think that MS Word prints only the first page! Somehow, I found that cute 😉

    I agree; getting your notes and MS printed out sure gives you that feeling which no virtual page can!


  • rachelhamm

    This was adorable! My mom used to have an old Word Processor which you could only use like a glorified type writer, but my sisters, brother and I still fought over getting to use it. Good times.

  • slamdunk

    Ha, thanks for sharing your embarrassing moment. I have lots of those as well.

  • Jillian


    Oh, no! That’s funny!!

    Okay, here’s mine:

    I used to type every paragraph in OCD fashion, as a perfect square. That meant the bottom line of a paragraph could not end halfway across the bottom; it had to go all the way to the right, even if that meant adding extra words. NO WHITE SPACE ON MY PAGE! I spent hours trying to perfect the perfect box on every page.

    It didn’t occur to me that a change in font when it went to the printer would screw up every paragraph. 😛

  • How I used to write « creative barbwire (or the many lives of a creator)

    […] stole the title from Miss Rosemary and am actually replying to her post of the same name. Please check it, as it’s hilarious (and she’s a great writer, if you […]

  • Ollin

    Floppy discs. Those were the days. Now we’re not going to have CD’s anymore I think there is just going to be those flashdrives.

  • Chelsea

    LOL! Endearing story! I completely agree — there is *nothing* as powerful as holding that stack of papers and knowing the pain and passion of every word. I like to make official-looking manuscript cover pages for the title of my printed works, just to make myself feel cool. It’s silly, but it’s the small things that keep us writers happy and typing. 🙂

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