The Benefits of Writing by Hand | Can’t find a single pen….

Whether that’s updating your status, writing a very important email, or completing a project but there are benefits to writing by hand. Perhaps more than you realised.
Most people, writer or not, do the majority of their writing on screens with a keyboard. But it might be time to pick up that pen once again…

For starters, it helps you remember stuff! The act of writing something down on paper helps you remember. It activates the parts of the brain responsible for understanding. Wouldn’t it be nice to have your main character’s traits or the basic plotline firmly(ish) fixed in your head? It sure would help your brain figure things out whilst you’re taking a break.

And it can actually help you relieve stress, who’d have thunk it? Which in turn helps improve your focus.

writing by hand

Creativity

And *laughter* it can help you improve your creativity. Seriously, writing by hand helps to keep the brain sharp. Plus, it involves more senses than typing on a keyboard. Who knew that when that dreaded writers block occured all you actually needed to do was switch to pen and paper?

You could use it as a way to refine your thoughts or re-evaluate them through the project’s lifespan. The number of handwritten pages tucked under and around my computer is crazy. Everything from plot outlines I do whilst watching TV on an evening (when the computer is firmly turned off) to side notes I make whilst typing about specific characters or locations and foreshadowing to short lists of things I need to accomplish. I tend to plot and plan by hand, adjusting as I begin to type up the script or novel. The hardest part is keeping them organised, particularly when I switch between projects. There are even memories of pages tucked in there -the pages I am certain I wrote but can’t find.

Writing by Hand Improves Focus

Now, in terms of taking notes in a lecture typing means you can take far more information down as most of us type faster then we write by hand. However, handwriting means our brains are more engaged and because we know we write slower we are forced to write and summarise the most important parts. Which means our understanding of the subject is far greater.

But as a writer, you know that intense storm that happens in the brain when you’ve had an idea and you’re trying to work it out. Typing it is, of course, the fastest way to get all the information down but handwriting it makes you feel it as you write, keeps the pressure on, and I don’t know about you, but a new idea with possibilities is easily lost when trying to type it up.

Personally…

Writing by hand feels more involved, messier, more chaotic when we’re trying to focus an idea into a conscious stream of thought. And it can often feel like our brains are so full of an idea, with new neurons firing to bring even more to the table, that our hand is like the funnel point condensing the stream into intelligent points. Ever had an idea that just spawns further ideas the more you write, extends and grows before your very eyes?

Would you rather do your writing by hand or on the computer and how do ideas feel to you?


Rather than deleting old posts, I have decided to update them. Search engines apparently like updated and re-posted posts. Updated posts are from when this site was little more than an authors blog. They’ll likely show up on all twitter accounts but won’t replace regular posts. You may receive them as part of the weekly email if you are on the mailing list. Don’t despair, I am not drifting away from the horror and western theme of this site and all new posts will remain within the usual parameters. Hopefully, it will bring a few more readers to the site and blimey, won’t they get a shock when they get here?

What say you?

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