Handwriting a first draft

I wanted to share something I learned recently about how I work. A while ago, I explained how I used Field Notes to remember it now and how I used analog writing tools to help my productivity in keeping my hectic life straight. While I also kept an analog journal as well, I still did the majority of my writing on the computer in Google Docs.

While this was okay, the biggest project I had every week was and remains a sermon. Don’t worry, I try to save my preaching for church so this isn’t a religious post but as I prepared, I found that the convenience of the internet was also a curse. “Oh, I need a stat here, I’ll just look it up.” Twenty minutes later, I don’t have my stat but I have watch three music videos, checked Facebook and drooled over some pens or notebooks.

A couple of weeks ago, it was Fountain Pen Day and I thought that for fun, I would handwrite my sermon. Here’s what I found – it took less than half the time and I actually had time to practice the presentation rather than just trying to get all my notes done. And the sermon went much smoother than they had as of late. I found I had remembered more and better connected with my audience.

Here’s the lesson that I learned – sometimes to get our best product, we need to cut out the noise and focus just at the task at hand. And that is something that analog tools allow you to do, in my estimation, better than digital ones. So, now I do my initial planning using Rev Chad Brook’s super helpful Sermon Worksheet, my first draft of my notes on a Staples Bagasse legal pad with a fountain pen and then after working on presenting with a pen in my hand for a quick note as I go, I then type my final version for taking with me on my tablet (although one week I did preach from my handwritten notes – old school style!).

So, my encouragement to you today is to think about your processes and see where you need to block out the noise in order to improve your workflow. If you have any helpful hints, please leave them in the comments below.


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