Posted by: Gwendolyn Huber | November 5, 2013

Crazy for Longhand

Is it crazy for someone like me to write longhand?

As soon as I’ve written this blog I’m going to start writing a novel longhand.

It’s probably crazy. I know it will be frustrating. Here’s why:

  1. At a somewhat normal speed, my handwriting is atrocious, so much so that I struggle to read my own words when I can figure them out at all.
  2. When I make a point to write legibly, the words hit the page at a painfully slow rate.
  3. I love to type!!!!!!!  I love how fast the words leave my mind and come out my fingers, and I love, love, love, fixing mistakes quickly and easily.

So here is a short list of what propels me to embark on this kind of crazy, awkward, and painful behavior.

  1. My laptop bit the proverbial dust at an awkward moment.
  2. My initial exposure to writing (as an adult) was a writing workshop where we wrote longhand
  3. Because of that workshop, I’ve only ever written short stories in longhand.

Here are some reasons why writing longhand might be a productive choice.

  1. You get a free edit when you type your handwritten story onto the computer.  (This is something I find a real bonus when writing short stories longhand.)
  2. Writing longhand slows the writer down to the speed of a writer’s creative brain.
  3. There are fewer distractions when the computer is out of reach.
  4. It’s faster.  (Yes, this seems counter-intuitive, but that’s what they said.)
  5. as your hand executes each stroke of each letter, it activates a much larger portion of the brain’s thinking, language, and “working memory” regions than typing, which whisks your attention along at a more letters-and-words pace.” http://www.fastcompany.com/1798782/pen-mightier-phone-case-writing-things-out
  6. “Scribbling can be efficient.” http://pitchpublishprosper.com/retro-hack-writing-longhand/

Here is a list of authors who write (or wrote) at least partly in long hand:

https://chrishiltonwriter.wordpress.com/tag/writers-using-longhand-are-better-writers/

http://www.pencils.com/blog/authors-who-write-longhand/

JK Rowling

Jackie Collins

Cecilia Ahern

Orhan Pamuk

Tess Gerritsen

Andre Dubus II

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