Monday, February 12, 2018

Writing By Hand

In 2016, I posted the following on my blog: Pen and Paper? Or All Digital? In it, I said that at the time, I didn't think I could afford a new computer anytime soon, but that fact changed later on in 2016. But at the time of the blog post, I had decided that writing notes for my memoir was a temporary solution until I could get a new computer. Even though that part has since been solved, but I still find myself in the habit of writing stuff down by hand, as I have been doing with the 1980s-set diary novel I have been working on. I had been slacking off on that and on writing in general for a few days, but last night began writing more notes for that story in the bright-pink notebook I bought for that reason. Sometimes I get my ideas while in bad so having a notebook to write them down comes in handy in those instances. 

Here is one list of reasons why people should still write by hand:

Once you leave school, there’s rarely a need to write by hand. Work correspondence happens on computers, as does social networking. Except for the occasional grocery list, there’s no particular need to break out your messy handwriting; typing is so much more efficient, right? But there are proven benefits to writing by hand. Here are four reasons you should dust off that pen and paper: 

A 2012 study of children who couldn’t yet read found that writing letters by hand activated a circuit of neurons in the brain associated with reading. Tracing or typing the same letter, however, did not. This extra processing in the brain regions associated with literacy “may facilitate reading acquisition in young children,” the researchers write. 

A 1990 study found that having kids write words out improved their spelling abilities compared to typing on a computer. 

A 2014 study that compared the memories of university students who took handwritten notes to those who took notes on laptops found that writing longhand better helps you learn new information. Those who wrote out their notes processed more of what was being said during their lectures, probably because they had to condense information to keep up, rather than mindlessly type the speaker’s words verbatim. In subsequent tests, handwriters recalled information from the lectures better than typists. 

In a 2009 study of elementary and middle school kids, students writing by hand were found to write more, and more quickly, than those who typed on a keyboard. “Children consistently did better writing with a pen when they wrote essays,” the study’s author, psychologist Virginia Berninger, said in a press release at the time. 

I agree with most of what is begin said above, and as I said, writing stuff out by hand is easy to do at night when I feel inspired to do so.  Also, often what I write down on paper doesn't always get transcribed verbatim. Most often it's just a series of notes and a guideline for what I really want to write. And of course, it's always best to do what works best for you.


  1. I will write with pen and paper when I'm a passenger in the car. Also I'll put what I'm working on in the Kindle then make the notes for changes with pen and paper.

  2. Recently got stuck on a story so started writing it by pen and paper to get unstuck. The story comes out faster and I concentrate better. Another upside is that my writing is more freer, less censored as compared to when I'm typing it.