by: Joelle Charbonneau
A few months ago, I was about 1/2 of the way through writing a manuscript when I got an idea for another story. I hate when that happens. Here I was knee deep in South Side Chicago gang violence and a new light bulb flickered on. A light bulb I couldn’t ignore. I knew it was a story I wanted to write, but I’m one of those writers who can’t write two projects at the same time. I suck at it. So, I told myself I’d shelve the idea and continue to write my thriller. Only, the opening of the new story beckoned – probably because it was once again in a genre I hadn’t written in before. Something bright and new and shiny – and something I had no idea if I could write. The new project requires a lot of fantasy world building something I had always said I admired but never wanted to attempt. What’s a girl to do?
I did what I never do. I opened up a new file and started writing. Oh – I knew I wasn’t going to write much. Just a few pages. Just the beginning. Just enough to see if I could even hope to create the world I saw in my head. To make sure I didn’t get confused about which manuscript I was working on, I decided to write in a different font than I usually type in – Times New Roman. Normally, I wrote in Courier New. For a few days I alternated between the two manuscripts. Once I had satisfied myself that I might have hope of pulling off the world building in the new book, I shelved it and marched to THE END of the thriller.
Now I’m back working on the new project. I think it might be good. Chances are I’ll change my mind about that before too long. However, the one thing I haven’t changed is the font. And I have no idea why. I like writing in Courier New because it makes me feel ultra productive. If I write 1000 words in Courier New I know I have written about 5-6 pages. In Times New Roman I’m lucky if that same word count covers 3 ½ pages. Yeah – it’s the same number of words – the same productivity, and yet the differential is driving me nuts.
Which is ridiculous, right? The font I write in shouldn’t make me feel better or worse about my writing. The fact it does kind of ticks me off – so I haven’t changed the font. I’m determined to overcome.
Yeah – I’m stubborn. Let’s blame it on my hair and move on.
The thing is my love/hate relationship with my writing font made me wonder if any other writers have fonts out there they HAVE to write in. Do you feel most comfortable in a specific font or does it not matter to you? Am I the only one that seems to have this hang-up? If so, I think I might go get therapy. (After I finish writing this book - without giving in.)