Good writers borrow. Great writers steal.
I know you’ve heard it. I have no idea if I’ve even reached the heights of tolerable or not bad writer, but I’m not above borrowing or stealing. Everything I write; book, article, blog post or who knows what in the future, maybe a poem, I write the first draft long hand. Why? Because I can’t do it any other way. I’ve tried, and failed many times, to turn on my computer, open Word and start typing. I would love to, trust me, but salmon swim upstream to lay their eggs, I do this. Difficult, true, but dictated by some force that neither of us can resist. And guess who else writes drafts long hand? Cutie Neil Gaiman. I know this because he talked about it in a documentary about him I saw.
Not only does he write by hand, he uses a trick to keep track of how much he wrote on a particular day—he changes ink color. Now, he’s Neil Gaiman with books and screenplays and all sorts of other writing under his belt. Meaning, he writes with an expensive pen where you buy liquid ink and fill a cartridge and put it in. Me, I’m on a budget, so I went out and bought a bunch of cheap, multi-color pen sets at Staples. Still, for some reason, this works for me. Why? No idea. Sometimes you accept the gift you’re and do the most you can with it.