Tips on Writing: Writing by Hand


I know.  It's very shocking.  When I suggest to clients and students that they may want to try writing by hand, there is sometimes outright rebellion.  To most writers these days, writing means writing at the computer, whether that computer is a desk version or a laptop (my own preferred option).   Okay.  I hear you.  Let's get the cons out of the way:

The Cons to Writing by Hand

Writing by hand seems antiquated, the purview of spinsters writing delicate thoughts in their journals.  (And what is wrong with that? I ask.)

Writing by hand is slow and takes more time.

When writing by hand it is difficult to make changes.

Writing by hand makes your hand tired.

What else?

Writing by hand can be hard to read.

A brief aside, and a confession, before we get the to pros of writing by hand.  The confession is that I've been writing by hand a lot lately.  And loving it.  I've always had an affinity for writing by hand.  I love to write in my journal, for instance.  And I always go first to the paper with pen in hand when I'm developing ideas for a novel, whether I'm working on the big picture, or smaller scenes.

However, all that writing by hand was mostly in the form of notes.  There was always a certain point at which I felt it was time to hit the computer and do the "real" writing.  

Not recently, though.  Recently I've been writing whole scenes, even whole chapters by hand.  It is somewhat amazing.  And very freeing.  Because I like to get up first thing in the morning and write by hand.  Usually that has taken the form of journaling.  But because I now seem to be able to write first drafts by hand, I can do that first thing.  And this has increased the amount of time I spend on my novel.

(I also like it because if I go to my computer first thing in the morning, the email inboxes and social media are sooooo tempting.  And I am weak, so weak.  So writing by hand sidesteps all that and I don't have to exercise discipline first thing.)

So, shall we look at pros?

The Pros to Writing by Hand

Writing by hand feels like a more direct line to heart and soul.  (At least it does to me.  You?)

Writing by hand is even more portable than writing on a laptop.

Writing by hand feels good.

Okay, the truth of the matter is that I'm stretching to find more pros to writing by hand.  Given the technology we have at our fingertips (hahaha), writing by hand is just not practical.  But it is wonderful.  And if writing by hand helps me (and you get) words on the page, I'm all for it.

What about you?  Do you like writing by hand?  Hate it?  Why or why not?  Leave a comment and share your thoughts.

Create a successful, inspired writing life: Try it.  C'mon, just do.  Try writing a scene or first draft of an article.  See if writing by hand doesn't feel good and inspire you.  If no, there's no harm done now, is there?

Photo by twenty_questions.