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From the Page to the Screen: A Generational Perspective on Writing Analog in a Digital World

Updated on December 7, 2015

Does ones writing change between the manual pen-to-page and the computer keyboard to screen?

Members of the Facebook and Twitter generation may find the question and seeking distinction between writing from an old fashioned hand or from a current computer keyboard to be an inconsequential topic to spend your hard earned time and energy to reflect on. This is particularly notable when considering the reality of our digital age, where everyone has a mini computer in their hand and barely even uses email (or even a keyboard!) anymore, much less an actual pen and paper. However, speaking as an artist born as a (mostly literal) child of Woodstock with middle aged concerns and a long term chronic illness, I have found over time that the answer is a resounding “Yes!” I have indeed experienced a different kind of material flow from my pen than from my keyboard and that flow has changed over time. My years of training as an artist in a variety of visual and performing artistic disciplines have shown me a deep emotional core that requires creative awakening from many kinds of stimulation and varying types of physical response. My experience as a patient living with chronic illness has revealed my limited natural reserves of exertion compared to that of a healthy person my age and which change daily. Returning to ACA (Adult Children of Alcoholics) after my time in 3 other 12 Step Recovery fellowships is freeing my Inner Child and acknowledging Her need to be met from varying unique and gentle approaches.

This complex tapestry of lifestyles has revealed certain recurring patterns of obstacle and flow, making it important for me to take time to examine the nuances of all my daily activities. How many non-essential steps can be removed from beginning to end of any given habitual task? The urgent necessity of conserving my internal reserves for other activities demands absolute reduction in number of steps or energetic cost for completion. So an inconsequential subject matter now has many new interwoven and important consequences to reflect on and directions from which to consider. The first step is to determine your answer to several questions that come down to this basic premise: 1): What is the exact nature of your writing? 2): Where does your “flow” originate from? 3): Who are you writing for? In my long history with writing, I have found many personal varied responses to these questions relative to my chronological time & place in life and subject matter. My flow comes from many different places for me depending on my age and my health, where I am regarding historical availability of electronic assistance and various parts of my healing and recovery, and whether I am writing for myself, my Inner Child, my God(s), my local personal or professional people, or my audience.

This blog began in June 2014 as a very brief idea that could be completed and posted quickly and has evolved into a monster spanning three separate essays that will address one or more of these questions or parts thereof. Let’s begin with the second question first

Where does your flow originate from?

After some time spent writing about the varying components and origins of “creative flow” and which origins open that flow better from a handwritten or electronic writing format; I FINALLY realized a discussion of flow would be incomplete without first including some talk about how one was taught to write in the first place and what tools were available at these early formative years. The way we first learned how to write and establish our own process into that mode of organizing our thoughts is intrinsically connected to the actual tools on which we were first taught. Deep and specific neural pathways are formed early in our brains which now inherently include deep attachment to both the tool and the style and forever physically linked together into a habit. Every time we go back to the habit usually involves using the same tool and the ease of flow arrives from that place, more and more easily over time. However, I do believe the nature of certain tools lend themselves more easily to certain origins of flow. In 1987, from his Rune User’s Handbook Tony Willis writes:

“…it is of no real importance which…alternative you choose. What is important is that you should adopt one set method of doing things and stick to it. The object here is to build up a routine and follow it through without variation or deviation. This diminishes the amount of work the conscious mind has to do and thus enables you to throw your conscious mind into neutral, as it were. The conscious mind then no longer has to worry about ‘What do I do next?’

because a familiar routine takes over, and absolves it of all decisions. This is the rationale behind all ritual, whether it is employed in the orthodox worship of the church or in the rather more unorthodox observances of magicians and shaman: it encourages a quiescent conscious mind so that the subconscious may rise up and seek contact with the Divine. Divination – as the name suggests – has the same end in view.” p9-10

— Tony Willis

My argument here is twofold. “The rationale behind ritual” applies not only to any kind of spiritual or Divination practice, but to the artistic one of writing and establishing creative flow; and when we were children first learning “reading writing and ‘rithmetic,” we weren’t entirely conscious, but basically accepted on faith what our teachers taught us and how we were taught by them. These teachers were using the tools of their day, which have evolved immensely in a few short decades, creating different set habits for us to us in different set time periods. Regardless however, of the tool or the time we were taught, for the first few decades anyway, that way became like a ritual for us that persisted in all our writing activities. Until such a time comes when we become more conscious and can choose or recreate a new ritual that is more functional and productive, as I am attempting to do with this blog. Therefore, this question will be answered in two parts, the second part continuing into the next essay. This first part examines the more external elements that affect ones flow and a brief history of the manual and electronic tools our recent generations have learned to write on. The second will focus on the internal pathways in the psyche, the 3 Selves and 3 Learning Styles that form our personal writing approach.

I had already been writing this particular hub in my head for over a year before I actually sat down to start writing it on the computer and one of my original conclusions was that I just need to learn to type! Maxine Gray from television’s “Judging Amy” quoted Dorothy Parker as saying: “writing is the art of committing one’s ass to the seat.” I saw the profound truth of this when I actually sat down to commit this essay to the page (screen!) back in late June 2014, and things began manifesting right away. A free keyboarding class was offered to me from the local ESC [Employment Security Commission] work place community in the form of a 3 day “pre-employment seminar” teaching workplace skills, keyboarding and some PC computing. My instructors were older than me, one in late 60’s and one in maybe mid 50’s and so much of what I received in class spoke to all the ideas I was mulling over all this time, as well as provide some much needed perspective on my potential employability! Both these instructors said things to confirm my suspicion that there is still much value in having learned from the old analog ways. For example, kids today are not learning how to spell correctly due to being raised using their thumbs on a smart phone texting in abbreviations; they don’t really have a lot of practice with letters and handwriting, or with using large vocabulary in formal written documents. Additionally, this clear frame of reference revealed that my Workplace Skills are much better than expected as so much of it relates to my study of the 12 Traditions and Concepts in 12 2 Step Recovery Programs from the past 11 years.

I also received very healthy confirmation that what I had been feeling intuitively was true in the world, and it helped “fill in the blanks” more concretely of which skills are prepared and where the holes were that need more attention. For example, my basic workplace PC usage is fairly well developed, but my typing is quite stunted. Now they have this “Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing” program and I picked it up fairly quickly. I just need to get my own copy to practice on every day and I’ll likely have much more success in publishing these Hubs faster and earning money sooner. This program also offered instruction in the form of childlike animated images of frogs jumping on leaves with the rhythm of my fingers dancing on the keyboard. Now THAT I can do!! My Mom is exactly opposite. Her generation wasn’t allowed to leave the classroom without being a fully trained typist; she still loves her electric typewriter and I wish she could have had my most recent instructor as a teacher. This man, a retired cop who dabbled in computers on the side and ultimately trained members of his force, had such a great way of communicating this stuff with awareness that older generations come at this differently from having learned it later in life. Without the benefit of all those years of drawing their letters by hand, etc., these young whipper- snappers at the iPod class just talk over her head – and mine too for different reasons. They grew up using these devices without the necessity of learning how to type. A few months ago I reconnected with a friend from my high school graduating class with twin 12 year old daughters who informed me that typing is already natural to them. I must say how inspiring it was to sit down again with a woman of my exact same age- we appreciate both the analog and the digital. She went to New York to study graphic arts in digital media and made quite a good living for herself with her computer programming husband in electronic creativity and currently has 2000+ Facebook friends. She now wants to build a new business based on “making shit” with OUT using an electric device, while using social media and monthly themes to encourage everyone to do this. So interesting how we graduated from the same private college prep school, took 2 wildly different paths as artists and both wound up with radically different lives but with the same appreciation of the analog source. Ours is the middle generation: we were raised on the analog and grew into the digital to offer a uniquely integrative way of working with the world.

Having now officially reached “middle age” as a woman with no spouse or children, it has become very meaningful to me lately to reflect on the many changes that have transpired in the world – and in my individual history - in only 45 years. My personal lifespan actually encompasses the entire history of modern electronics. As an ancestral hoarder, who recently vacated a storage locker full of what some people would call garbage, and still living in the same house I grew up in, I see I have become a “Rip Van Winkle” of sorts. I still possess many “treasures” buried in my trove to document the journey of all my electronic and computer related devices, including entertainment players. Indeed my own lifetime has encompassed the history of the modern computer itself, and I still have all those devices to show for it! This doesn’t even include my parents’ own hoard of theirs and my grandparents’ devices, or those I used as a young child, also still buried in this house or garage somewhere. My own “trash” has become “treasure” to me as right here so many generations are available: those of us of certain ages who remember and enjoyed handwritten letters. This hub might be more poetic if I had my own children’s devices to throw into the mix, but fortunately that is unnecessary. Anyone reading this probably has children or grandchildren of their own to compare the newest generation of students who bring their laptops, tablets and smart phone to class and whose notes and homework are done on the computer or online. They don’t even have to carry book s anymore, as those are downloaded onto their devices.

And now on with the flow: when something emerges that wants to be put in to writing, I will spend some time in pursuit of and reflection on the outside threads and resources that connect into it, then let the ideas swim around in my mind for at least 72 hours until I feel “Full” with the clarity of my concept, before I let it flow out onto the outside source. It’s important to discern that precise moment when too soon, I get tangled up in incomplete ideas and too late, it becomes mentally draining and tedious. Then it’s essential to maintain the discipline to act on that moment and let it flow out if possible according to the logistics of my moment. If only I could say that I always acted on that sweet moment where I sit down with my pen when it occurs and it just flows out, right there life would be so much easier! The final product is usually of higher quality, requiring less editing, though likely in need of transcription. I typically prefer the pen and journal in this case owing to the fact I was brought up using these tools and my history and education with writing has naturally led me to this place in my creative writing process. Unfortunately, my emotional discipline to respond apparently missed some time in “school” and later my chronic illness threw in some other curve balls. When I can actually get over myself long enough to respond to that moment, I don’t always have the materials available or a place to thoughtfully do the work; and if by some chance all 3 elements come together at once, I don’t always have the energy or physical wherewithal to respond just then. One hope for this essay is by the time I reach its conclusions; this greater exploration will give me some new ways to conquer these lifelong bad habits.

Perhaps your main source of inspiration is more practical in terms of feeling a need to generate less physical matter, reducing physical clutter and “going green” to improve your carbon footprint. Moving towards a complete electronic body of work not only saves on the amount of paper matter that must be generated and the massive amount of time and energy involved for it to be packed up and unpacked, carried from place to place, over and over again; particularly if you do not have a single designated writing area in which to leave your work. It also facilitates the conservation of psychic energy of the editing process with the vast storehouse of software and apps available in modern computing to take care of all the homeless pieces of unfinished paragraphs and ideas. Our Jane Austin using pen in ink and parchment had no choice but to write by hand then edit by cutting that line or section out of the page with scissors. In this case, using your laptop or tablet exclusively for all your writing regardless of content, purpose or audience, would be the easy and obvious choice, no further reflection necessary. Next Hub please! A part of me does exist that would prefer not to generate any more paper matter and to streamline all my activities into one portable device. I am presently in the early stages of a process I call “Restructuring My Root System.” I not only have begun to record my financial records electronically but ultimately would like to transfer all of my important financial, medical, educational and most personal files onto scanned PDF’s and store on my 2 TB portable hard drive. What a relief that would be to have such a lighter load! However my inner world is such a convoluted maze that sorting thru all the manual approaches is too valuable now to skip over.

Practically speaking, a small tablet with keyboard is much easier to lug around than large journal and notebooks with an assortment of writing utensils. Ideally carrying a device such as a Surface Pro 3 “the tablet that replaces your laptop” out in the world sounds like the ultimate answer, I just don’t have one yet. I have a 2011 Toshiba L775 17” laptop with a larger screen that I love to watch movies on and write on. However, it is a little too heavy to lug around or “unentrench” to carry spontaneously, which impedes my flow. So then I may only have a Moleskin notebook or found paper from wherever I am to handwrite a draft of something that’s bothering me or take notes on something I need to deal with in a timely manner. Maybe Microsoft will send me a free one to review in my blogs. I may be able to transition from doing drafts by hand if I have a more light weight device such as this to contain and consolidate my notes from the world. The ease to keep with me when out over my more cumbersome laptop reduces the exertion required, but still has a proper keyboard for straight on writing and a tablet with stylus for taking notes or engaging in a more creative design process. I function better when I can see the “big picture” and often have need to lay it all out in larger space and move pieces around manually. Additionally, like Gus Grissom on the original CSI: like to sit back while reading not forward as is necessary with computer- so he prints stuff out to read instead on reading it online.

But perhaps your motivations are not so singular and straightforward and you still find value and particular enjoyment from writing journal entries and letters by hand. Or maybe the real issue is whether you have legible handwriting or have ever really learned to type. The last time I learned to type was 1985, beginning of junior year in high school and we had only just begun using computers with a screen. 2 years before, our football coach was teaching us to use a computer by teletype. The other problem was the really cute senior guy in class, who’d smile at me, but was otherwise oblivious of me, kept me quite distracted from the typewriter keyboard. And now the computer keyboard is laid out differently I found that keyboarding class to be helpful, as I spend more time editing my typos than I do actually writing the material, which often comes from a flow and just spills out when done by hand. I partially attribute this to my elementary school years using pencil and extra-large lined paper to carefully articulate the large and small alphabet letters, while my cousin’s children practice drawing their alphabet on a Leapfrog device. In high school and some of college, our papers had to be turned in on college ruled paper with blue or black ink. Since presently my hands on the keyboard cannot accurately and adequately keep up with the torrent that floods from mind – my creative flow feels halted on the computer and currently only use the keyboard for professional writing. When it is just between me and the Goddess, my lovely colorful bound inlaid textured journals provide a deeper and faster experience that rarely needs editing.

In the beginning, this wasn’t the case. The ease of electronic spell check and editing sections around by cutting and pasting with mouse versus scissors then adding it as an attachment to an email or posting it to Facebook as opposed to all the fuss of making copies, finding and paying for stamps, dragging one’s ass to the mailbox or post office and all of the time waiting for the recipient to find its arrival in their mail box or getting around to visit their post office box in another location because they never use mail anymore. I recall the thrill of finally having my own computer at home to originate new writing or letters and having spell check to correct all my typos and save the file for later editing. Such a profound flow came from bypassing all the drama of dealing with all the mass paper from once it’s done. I knew from that moment if I could earn money from writing from my computer life would be so much easier and I could actually enjoy working and earning money! Today I also use the online Thesaurus and dictionary, which is right here on my computer, saves energy from having to stop and get up to get it hardback form.

In the early years typing a handwritten document as opposed to having to manually reprint it, single spaced in blue or black ink with no white out was nerve wracking and tedious. One mistake meant copying that page all over again. Sitting and typing [still using my mother’s electric typewriter] without thinking however, the hard writing work already done, produced quite a flow and became fun, as listening to music while doing repetitive manual labor really sparks a flood of self-reflection and productivity.

Then again, in the early 90’s just before the internet became available to the general public, I was having the time of my life attending community college studying old school fiber art from floor loom and weaving baskets by hand with colorful yarn and fabric pieces and hand dyed wooden basketry material under water; performing in the school’s modern dance company learning to manipulate gravity with the Humphrey Weidman Fall and Recovery technique with improvisation and choreography from a teacher who danced with the Master and one the founders of Modern Dance in America Charles Weidman; and taking algebra based physics from a man who worked on the technology for the original space shuttle; all while making reference to my Motherpeace Round Tarot deck towards completion of my AFA degree. As it turned out, this period was represented by the XXI WORLD card: “All the universe is dance of energies. Maya Shakti, a movement of creative forces in us and trough us. The world card signifies that the personality is no longer blinded and confused by identification with what is not real. True liberation and freedom are felt with in the individual and the group.” P14 “Motherpeace Round Tarot” Instructions by Karen Vogel and Vicki Nobel; booklet found with the deck. I was having my first spiritual awakening experience in my youthful innocence and confidence feeling everything come together in one gigantic dance of energetics and feeling that charmed life as I was exercising the ecstasy of cosmic form in the Nano particles of an atom in physics lab, the joy of dancing with gravity in the fall and recovery technique in the dance and grand spirals of galaxy astrological planetary movement with my tarot spreads and in the weaving studio. I actually believed I would continue this path with religious studies and physics and discover the Unifying Ecstatic Principle of the Universe thru the inherent spring constant of light and the Humphrey Weidman Technique. I certainly felt like I found the proof of magic all the ancient wise women witches had already known for centuries before our quantum physics had figured it out. It was the only time in my life I enjoyed living at home with no studio or computer to work all this out in and going to Kinko’s at 1am to make copies of my brilliant class papers and physics labs reports to pass out to everybody was a lot of fun actually. Having a place to go when sleep was impossible making use of all the colored paper & highlighters, staplers & paperclips and collating copy machines became a personal studio outside the physics lab to put all those ideas together and process all of the magic unfolding and integrating in my body and soul. For once, I had some guidance, as Vicki Nobel had a way of describing what I was experiencing in her tarot manual, Motherpeace: A Way to the Goddess thru Myth, Art and Tarot:

“Ecstatic within the circle, the Great Mother represents what Arthur Avalon calls the ‘union of the quiescent and active principles of consciousness itself,’ and what von Franz calls ‘magical union of the individual psyche and with the whole cosmos.’ In sexual terms, she is the Divine Androgyne, integrating male female energies. In terms of yoga and other forms of meditation, she symbolizes liberation of consciousness that is not of bliss but is bliss. … ” p 144

Hearing about internet became just too much. It would be a few more years before I could contain myself long enough to try out all the possibilities there, as at that moment I was finding myself in total sense immersion of the black cauldron of experiential alchemy firmly rooted my creativity the analog way. Nobel continues

“Within the eternal circle, the dance of consciousness continues uninterrupted. Taoists, stressing intuition and ecstasy, describe the ‘expansive power of Tao in the middle space’ as imperishable.’ For them, too, this power flows from ‘the mysterious Mother of all beings.’ As she comes and goes, she produces Heaven and Earth.’ Thus acting, She is never fatigued.’ To Goddess worshippers’ such as Indian Tantrics, ‘immaterial spirit is just as unthinkable a spiritless matter.’ When heaven’s spirit and earth’s matter are known to be One, then ‘cosmic consciousness’ is attained.”

Then in the mid-nineties, still in the modern dance company and now working in PTL (Peer Tutoring Lab) which was right downstairs from my beloved physics lab and directly across the hall from the computer lab, I got an email address, learned the internet and became restored to the journey of learning new computer skills. The subsequent 15 years was a period of learning new stuff from guy friends who were into computers while intermittently taking basic classes in MS Office programs, html and JavaScript Dreamweaver, etc. every several years. I progressively inherited someone’s just-outdated computer hand-me-downs’ and added new attachments to my desk top such as a zip drive for my small business and eventually establishing a home office /studio for myself, once again living in my parents’ house, but now in the loft above a recently built 2 car garage.

Later as my chronic illness developed and I started to get chemical sensitivities and brain fog, which progressively got worse, reaching an apex around 40, I finally had to come to terms with the fact that the way my brain receives and processes new information, esp. complicated scientific and medical details such as all the ways individuals can experience a confluence of Hashimotos’s hypothyroid and a weakened immune system is TOTALLY different than when I was a teenager or young adult. My brain just gets tangled up in details, esp. when I’m listening rather than reading about it.

In 2011-12, I had a part-time job as an IT Technician at a place that teaches kids about money. I spent all my time doing grunt maintenance work on the 40 or so donated computers, just to keep them running as long as possible, and was taught a lot basic intermediate computer usages. However, I found myself feeling so mentally drained it was even harder to relax than usual. Spending that much time in front of a computer or electronic device does have impact on one’s brain chemistry, especially for a patient like me whose internal hormones have become quite out of balance and parasympathetic nervous system over sensitized due to too much adverse stimuli from a long term mysterious fatigue disorder. According to my Chinese herbalist and acupuncturist, I have too much “heat” and “yang” and have become mentally overstimulated as a result. I need to limit my exposure to electromagnetic energy fields. Grounding myself into my body by getting out of the house and away from TV and computers and using my other tactile sense immersion in alternate stimuli of natural color and texture by getting back to my beautiful journals and colored pens, creates a different flow from artistic versus linear sides of the brain.

Steve Jobs passed away while I was on this job, and I have yet another reason to understand why this blogging is such a vital therapeutic tool for me, as it suddenly hit home that this “computer thing” was the new art form and Jobs and Gates down to Zuckerberg were the new rock stars and creative geniuses and all of MY art forms had just become outdated. What the hell was I doing all that time, and why am I now using a Samsung instead of an IPhone/Pod-pad? Oh yeah, it was because all of my available brainpower and housing structure was already full with my personal analog brand of genius and I had no time or patience to deal with trying to fust around with the endless mishaps of the computer taking up all my time; I just wanted someone to show me how to do this or that right now so I could get on with the infinitely more important activities of printing and collating my copies of our dance company in letterhead and mail merge the matching envelopes and other related items meant to promote and get people to come to our shows, so they could witness and participate in the genius available there. My guy friends evidently had much more time on their hands to engage in that problem solving computer fun, while all my problem solving energy was satiated by physics and calculus problems and staging modern dance pieces from improvisational studies. These guys had also been touting the creative brilliance and stability of the Mac software and Linux operating systems, but I had already cut my teeth on and polished my writing skills with the PC and that @#%% early proprietary IPod software was too much of a pain in the a$$ when I gave up my desk top and got my laptop and necessity of transferring music and document files every 2 years. I have relaxation music stuck on my 2006 IPod because it can only be used on that one computer which has been dismantled and put on a storage shelf. It’s just so much easier to have all of that on an Android device that was compatible with Microsoft Windows Media Library. It’s all free and takes less time. I hate saying this because at one time, Bill Gates WAS the Devil. Also writing that paragraph about my Kinko’s experience really brought up a lot of old deep emotion as I recalled how much joy that awakening of combination cosmic form, physics & dancing; Tarot and weaving all together and how much all that meant to me, and brought me back to life. How many times I have been grateful for having studied dance: all the ways just simply knowing how to move as artist rather than a pedestrian has enhanced and maybe saved my life- certainly my soul. The computer was a sideline way for me to get to the WAY. As I was taught by Flannery O’Connor {“Everything That Rises Much Converge”}, my physics teacher and the Dancing Wu Li Masters: there is always but one path to each outcome, but you may have to try many paths to uncover it; and thermodynamics is a black art like the others, such as acoustics. Look how easy it was for me to lose my self-esteem and all memory of my own value to myself and the world after only 15 years of chronic illness. A few decades in brief period of later college years I was writing and creating from that “imperishable middle space” of joy in the goddess and “never fatigued” but had an unlimited supply of boundless physical energy. Today I feel ever depleted and often making myself write or create from a sucking black hole. I imagine the full perils of my underearning disease took over and now I’m consciously searching for joy again.

This brings me back to the first question and how I integrate analog and digital writing mediums today.

My writing has many purposes for many different parts of my life

Is the main purpose of your writing for personal, professional or creative intent?

See results

What is the Nature, Purpose or Intent for your writing?

My writing has many purposes for many different parts of my life, personally and professionally.

  • Earn money

  • Workplace product and documents

  • Medical, financial, legal documents

  • Reduce vagueness in my emotions or finances when making big goals & decisions,

  • Situational or recovery inventories and weekly/monthly/annual reviews for my personal & professional goals and medical progress

  • Processing spiritually or emotionally vexing experiences in life and with other people

  • Studying a new piece of recovery or medical literature or integrating new ideas

  • Taking notes

  • Emotional and physical healing

  • Spiritual transformation and nurturing the Inner child

  • Artistic development

Generally speaking, whenever I need to remain objective and detached, already know what I need to say, or need to produce a clean hard copy of a permanent, formal document and mail to an institutional body and/or keep that document in file as evidence, then I use the keyboard. This not only ensures correct grammar and punctuation and organization of ideas, but I also have copies to file in my computer if I need to print them later or to keep in my electronic files. This includes all workplace products and medical, financial & legal documents. Another reason for this is I often use bullet points and outlines, or otherwise combine ideas into smaller groups with sub headings; perhaps by time period or doctor seen. This makes it so much easier to visualize the ideas and saves time, such as when I am in an appointment with a doctor. If I need to write other letters to different doctors or institutions with different specialties, I may need to use similar content from other letters, then adapt it with others details to suit the recipient. In this case it is most efficient to simply cut and paste sections, or have a template/letterhead on hand that can be updated quickly.

However when it’s time to evaluate my subjective viewpoints, in depth feelings or process the internal nuances involved in working through to final answers that I have not integrated or am not quite clear on yet, I use pen and paper. This would include everything else on this list. Journaling has always been an important tool for sorting thru my jumbled mass of thoughts and feelings. Something about the physical contact of hand to pen to page completes a circuit in in my psyche and helps me connect the conscious mind with unconscious emotional process and details from memory images to sort thru the vagueness and distortion and come into clarity about all the infinite nuances I experience on a daily basis and determine which side of that nuance I am on and how it all fits into the big picture. After all of that I am in better place to make healthy decisions and set the kinds of goals that will actually make forward progress. Whether or not I can follow thru on those in the time allotted or when I will actually take action on that decision is an entirely different matter, of course

My biggest realizations upon reaching the end of this part of my essay are three. Firstly, I really DO need to learn how to type. Enough is enough: my compulsive under earning is in all the time wasting editing typos and slogging thru unfamiliar terrain of the keyboard. It is taking entirely too long to complete these essays, as I still have 7 more to go before I can apply for the HubPages Earning Programs. Secondly, at the end of the day (or year!), when I reach the end of that piece of writing, it does not matter whether I have used the pen or the keyboard to get there, it always manifests profound illumination of my Inner Life. Those golden nuggets of clarity and new perspective that help me see myself and my process in new way or be reminded of important things I’d forgotten are available from either source, but they may just take a different path getting there – and probably costs different amounts of time and frustration. Practically speaking, until I do get Mavis’ software, establish a daily habit of practice, then master the keyboard, it may actually be more efficient for me to generate the essay on paper first, then transcribe to the computer. On a third psychological level, I saw how my once enormous self-confidence has been battered from contending with chronic illness (and lets face it: under earning) for so long without being able to accomplish goals with as much ease or timeliness as my peers, or to be as embedded in the outer world and its progress as they are, and I have lost my Way and my Joy. This experience restored my conviction in myself that I’m still valid and my “outdated” analog ways still have purpose. I am getting older and my history has gotten longer- I do find myself feeling “old” more these days, as I finally understand how I feels to have the next generation come up behind with their new ideas, energy and enthusiasm. At the same, great meaning is emerging in reexamining my own history and its importance to me and my own life; so many valuable resources are found there to recreate a new life through writing about it.


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