Handwritten words

One morning, I thought it would be really inspiring to walk to a secluded area of the park near my home and write in my notebook rather than on my laptop. I sat on a bench and wrote an entirely new story idea. The quiet, natural surroundings provided the perfect whimiscal setting. Sun streamed through the tall trees above me and I wrote for a solid hour.

In the past, I have been exclusively a laptop writer. “You have to type up your story eventually, so why not start out that way? It saves the time and the work of transporting the words from the paper to MS Word,” I said.

I used to think that words flowed better when I typed, which can be true at times, but in the right setting, handwriting your story works wonders. Gripping the page as I wrote down the ideas that have been bouncing around in my head for days gave me this sort of symbolic freedom to pour everything out.

In that single hour of writing, I got over 1,000 words into the story.

I think it’s good to always challenge ourselves to write in different settings and to switch it up between handwriting and typing. Every time I take a break from the computer and pen the words on the page, it feels so natural and rewarding. I may even try writing the entire first draft that way and see if the whole story process flows faster. Plus, as one transfers the words from notebook to computer, you are editing as well. So, that takes care of the first edit right then and there.

What is your ritual, fellow writers? Do you handwrite often? Never? Just sometimes? Be heard. :)

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30 responses to “Handwritten words

  1. Writing in nature is alway so inspiring! I think it’s easy to forget that writing is pen to paper, not always fingers to keyboard. I find myself being able to write a lot when I’m sitting with a notebook. Great post!

  2. I used to handwrite everything but now my handwriting is bad and I’m so much faster at typing. (My kids’ baby journals are computer documents.) I should try taking a notebook out in the world the next time I get stuck!

  3. The sun streaming through the tall trees and the whimsical setting were very poetic. Well done! I always found it easier to write freehand also. Great blog graphics. I envy you!

  4. So very true. It is amazing how inspired you can be when you change things up a little. I, too, normally compose on the computer; once, however, I was stuck (computerless) at a multi-day business conference and decided to try my luck at writing a children’s book draft in longhand. I was delighted by the result.

    It just proved what I guess I knew all along: being chained to a desk can sometimes smother the creative spirit.

  5. This is so true! I don’t write the actual story by hand, but I always brainstorm and plot-plan by hand. I’ve found it keeps me from writing a lot of useless words on the computer.

    Plus, theres no temptation to check email or social media when you’re sitting at a notebook instead of a computer. *grins*

    • Good point. Even if a writer doesn’t write the actual story down in the notebook, it is always a great idea to keep one with you for plot ideas or random story tidbits to write later. :)

  6. I have always written with paper and pencil. Probably a hold over from all those composition classes I took in school. For me I feel more connected to what I write, it taking on meaning and significance.
    Good post :)

  7. I used to try to write by hand by my handwriting is so awful I can’t stand to go back and read through it. And I always feel like writing by hand is too slow – my brain is going at a much faster rate than my hand can keep up with. Then I find myself gripping the pen/pencil too tightly and give myself a cramp! Lol! I love the imagery of sitting quietly in nature with a notebook and pencil, though. :)

  8. I turn to my journal when I get stuck and when I do that, I break the fourth wall (pulling from my theater geek speak). I’ll say something along the lines of “why in the world is so and so doing that?” and then just let it flow in a stream of consciousness manner. I think we all have to turn to that from time to time. Great post!

  9. I used to write by hand, but wrote once for like twelve hours straight and my arm hasn’t been the same since. It actually hurts to write now. I use my phone’s default voice recorder and a notepad app to record and write down ideas as they come to me.

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