Old-fashioned writing

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I write using my keyboard most of the time. My typing speed is pretty good (65-75wpm, depending on inspiration), so typing as I’m thinking usually works for me. In fact, with horrible handwriting and an extreme dislike for writing by hand, typing is the only option. Or so I thought.

Here are three reasons I’ve started writing the old-fashioned way (by hand).

1. You can write while you wait. The other day, I was waiting my turn in urgent care (I was fine, it turned out), and happened to have my “idea notebook” with me. I was waitingso I started writing. And writing. My hand hurt (see why I hate writing by hand?) but I was getting work done.

2. Children are drawn to computers. I’ve found that my daughter doesn’t interrupt me quite so much when I’m writing by hand. If I even lean toward my laptop, she finds some reason to notice my existence and comes up with some urgent need that only Mommy can tend to. Or she decides it’s time to “play a game” on the computer.

3. Writing by hand is an excellent way to write reviews of online documents. If you do everything on the computer, you have to deal with several open windows. You have to read the site or online document, then switch to Word, write something, switch back, etc. You get the picture. Or you have to print out your document, wasting printer paper, printer ink/toner, and some electricity. I now write reviews by hand while I’m looking at the computer screen. Much more efficient.

Do you tend to write on the computer, or do you use pen-and-paper writing too?

20 Responses to “Old-fashioned writing”

  1. neil... says:

    Writing with pen and notebook (a Moleskine in my case) was critical in me finishing the first draft of my first novel. I found that the computer encouraged me to edit far too much too early when all I wanted to do is get the story out of my head and down on paper. My second draft has became the process of transcribing from notebook to computer.

    Writing by hand seems, for me at least, to encourage more creative thinking, my mind builds more on what has gone before and after a little while I find new ideas flow more readily through the pen and my writing projects are far better for it.

    neil…’s last blog post..Reading and writing go together

    • Theda K. says:

      Hi Neil, thanks for the comment. I hadn’t thought about computers making it too easy to edit too soon. Good luck on your next writing project. Moleskin sounds interesting…very old-fashioned indeed.

  2. I NEVER use pen and paper. But I don’t get out, either, so I might carry a notebook if I were in situations where I had to wait.

    Lillie Ammann’s last blog post..Merry Christmas!

    • Theda K. says:

      Hi Lillie, I defintely understand never using a pen and paper. I just started it the other day, and had some success, but it’s definitely not my cup of tea. Notebooks are at least good for listmaking, if you happen to be out and about. Otherwise, there’s really no need.

  3. I use both. My daughter has her own computer so that takes care of her checking out mine. 🙂 A great place for me to think is sitting in the sauna. That’s my personal time.

    • Theda K. says:

      I wish my daughter had her own computer. She would, if mine didn’t keep breaking down all the time. I may try to get an old laptop fixed for her. But she’s only 2.5 anyway, so she usually wants my involvement in her activities.

      Have fun in the sauna!

  4. Marie D. says:

    I used to love writing with a pen but when I started working and really got used to typing very fast, I stopped because I found it frustrating that writing is so slow while typing goes so fast. But nowadays when I need to be creative about a project and collect thoughts, I find that a nice notebook and a pen work best for me. I have a pink pen that I am the only one to use at work, it is my signature and I love that.

    I wish you a very happy and prosperous New Year, Theda!

    Marie D.’s last blog post..All I want for Christmas

    • Theda K. says:

      Hi Marie D., and happy new year to you too! I felt the same way you did about typing vs. writing. I also like to use a snazzy pen, in my case anything that doesn’t write in blue or black. I prefer red or purple ink. If I got a special specific pen, I know I’d lose it. LOL!

  5. I find writing something by hand allows me to retain the information more. But for general content/copy writing I use the computer. The time it saves is well worth it. Interesting post, thanks.

    • Theda K. says:

      Yeah, computers are definitely more convenient. I still use it 98% of the time for everything. Good point about when you need to retain information. Maybe there are some students who’ll read this who will benefit from the advice.

  6. pussreboots says:

    Except for my nanowrimos, I always write by hand. I think better with the feel of pen to paper than with the fingers to keys.

    • Theda K. says:

      I don’t know what a nanowrimos is, but it sounds interesting. I’ll never get writing by hand all of the time, but I’m glad it makes you happy. 🙂

      Thanks for the comment!

  7. You said, “My daughter doesn’t interrupt me quite so much when I’m writing by hand.” I can relate to that. My daughter also enjoys her computer time, so when I leave her to the computer, she too leaves me to my writing.

    I’m not much for writing by hand either as my handwriting isn’t the best in the world, and with arthritis in my hands, they begin to hurt before I’ve written a paragraph. However, I sometimes fight that pain to let my daughter (and even my sons) have their computer time. In addition, I have discovered that sometimes I think better when I write the “old-fashioned” way, so when I find myself stuck, I pull out the pen and notepad. Then later I can type everything… if I can make out my own handwriting… LOL… 😉

    Misti Sandefur’s last blog post..Inspiring Holiday Story

    • Theda K. says:

      Your experiences with writing by hand sound exactly like mine. I have bad handwriting (I even got a ‘C’ in elementary school, and it hasn’t improved since 3rd grade), and it definitely hurts. I don’t think it’s arthritis, yet. I definitely need to get my toddler her own computer, but I suspect she wouldn’t leave me along to write for at least a few more months. She’s still very much into having Mommy do almost everything with her.

  8. I am not that fast at typing and the pen is more natural too me. It seems that when I write with pen and paper I like the result more, but that may be because of the extra chance to edit the piece.
    And you are right about it being easier with kids around.

  9. Great Read. My writing has gone so downhill since computers I used to be quite a good writer now I find my hand gets sore. Arthritis doesnt help. I can really relate to the poster below about writing in the Sauna.

    InfraRed Sauna Dude’s last blog post..Iphone Canada – I’d like to rank please!

  10. Tim says:

    I like to write in spare moments at work while I am waiting for something to happen. I work construction, and there are odd moments where there is nothing to do. I don’t pack a computer, just a notebook. I take my notes home and find I capture a lot of good stuff this way.

    Tim’s last blog post..Slow Cooker

  11. I almost never write by hand unless I’m in a situation I’m forced to. Though there is something I think about it more. I tend to write more thoughtfully by pen & paper than I do on a computer.

    Spot Cool Tech’s last blog post..$350 Lightweight Laptop Showdown: Acer vs Asus

  12. Writing by hand just doesn’t work for me, unless I am extremely inspired. Normally I need inspiration from the web to get things started.

    Not to mention, if I write it on paper, then I have to type it into my computer also.

    Good method for some, but in my case it’s a rare occasion.

    Pink MP3 Players’s last blog post..TrekStor i.Beat

  13. Sam says:

    I never use pen and paper unless I am forced to. My hand writing and spelling are now both totally horrible.
    I use GPS for driving, I can’t give directions even to my own home.

    I used to have 20 phone numbers memorized, now I only have my own phone number memorized because I speed dial all my contacts now…

    I guess that is why it is technology – makes everything a little easier.
    .-= Sam´s last blog ..Factory Direct Infrared Saunas =-.