Why Writing is Better in Longhand

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I found this post on writing by longhand very interesting because I create my first drafts by writing longhand on legal tablets. I was wondering: do any of you do this?

Gavin Zanker

Handwriting

Yesterday, unable to face the monster word document of my second draft lurking away in my hard drive, I pulled out a notepad and started scribbling. An hour later, I found I’d rewritten an entire chapter of my book from scratch. It had been so long since I’d written anything more than post-its and quick notes that I had entirely forgotten the benefits of writing longhand.

It’s interesting to think that every author until recent times has written out their work by hand. The computer screen has only existed for a relatively short amount of time. In fact, many writers still make the decision to write longhand in favour of using a computer. Quentin Tarantino said as much in an interview with Reuters a few years ago.

‘My ritual is, I never use a typewriter or computer. I just write it all by hand. It’s a ceremony. I go to…

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58 thoughts on “Why Writing is Better in Longhand

  1. Indeed I do! I write in spiral notebooks I get cheap. They must be college-ruled, however. Not only do I love the tactile sense of the pen making letters on the page, I love being able to scribble notes and reminders and questions in the margins. An added bonus: you get an extra edit when you keyboard what you’ve written. When you have to type something, you find it much easier to ask, “Do I really need this?”

    Hardest thing has been writing instruments. I hate throwing away whole pens or even refills when the ink is gone. I used to use Schaeffer cartridge pens, but the cartridges got hard to find, and I still had to throw them away. Now I’m using a refillable fountain pen, and really liking it. (You can get a “fine point” by turning a medium nib upside down.)

    Liked by 4 people

      • I use Parker fountain pens myself. Nothing fancy, but I’ve never had a problem finding replacement cartridges. It’s probably habit since fountain pens were mandatory at my school, but I hate the feel of any other type of pen nowadays.

        As an added bonus, I find it funny seeing people try to use one of my pens when they aren’t used to them – my girlfriend always ends up covered in ink and arguing with the pen within minutes.

        Anyway, thanks for the reblog. Glad I wrote something you found interesting.

        Liked by 3 people

  2. There is something about writing in longhand more meaningful. I use both. I definitely get more creative while writing longhand, I seem to get more from my brain when using pen and paper. I’m only 25, i would choose pen and paper over a computer any day of it was widely acceptable in the industry.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Khaya Ronkainen

    Both longhand and keyboard have their benefits. I use the keyboard mostly, and longhand only when I’m out in the wilderness, hiking. But generally I never leave the house without my notepad to jot down notes, one-liners, etc.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Speed is often the issue for me…that and the desire to move or remove large block of text. However every time I have a tech issue or distraction hits my writing room, I retreat to pen and paper. I even repurchased my hard copy dictionary and thesaurus, pens and yellow pads in a fit of tech angst. Let the Zombie apocalypse come! I will be writing in a cave!

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Writing by hand is out of the question for me. It hurts my hand and fingers early into the writing session. I can write poems by hand, but that’s about it. It’s unfortunate because I really do enjoy writing by hand and seeing what comes out.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I started keeping a notebook and began writing in longhand, but I found myself crossing out too many chunks of writing that it got too messy looking. So, I started using a pencil and just used up my eraser. Finally, I decided to just type. But, when an idea strikes, I immediately write it on a piece of paper and write and just let that train of thought run dry until I have nothing else to write. I set aside the paper and look for it days or months later if I find it relevant or worthwhile to use for anything.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Like many writers, most of my work is done directly on the computer.

    But now and again, I write something out. I use legal pads. Maybe it’s just that a change is as good as a rest, but it is valuable. To me, the real value of having the tale on computer is for editing anyway. And there’s something therapeutic about the pen scribbling away. Even though I never learned the really cool writing that went with a fountain pen.

    It’s good to be reminded of it. Thanks. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. For myself, I’m not choosy about writing surfaces, but I am a little more particular about writing instrument, though not much. I can and have written on just about anything, in a pinch, including the inside cover of a child’s coloring book, once upon a time. Legal pads are a great idea, and more organized than I currently am. It’s usually a spiral notebook or straight onto the computer. My concern is twofold: I used to write in only pencil, which has smeared terribly over the years and, two, my writing gets pretty cruddy at times (hard to read, that is!). My 2 cents’; it’s cool to see how others work, also.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I think I am in the minority here, but only use pen to paper for quick notes. I still remember the thrill of getting my first computer at work and writing with it. It was enlightening to be able to commit the whole thought to bits and bytes before it evaporated. The process just flowed so much better. Oh, but I do love the feel of a medium point ball pen on the crossword puzzle in the newspaper!

    Liked by 1 person

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