Clarify your thoughts, write a great first draft
Computers, phones and other gadgets are essential to everyday life. With their convenience and speed, we use them to communicate daily. But for reflective, exploratory writing, writing that’s just for you, I’m a firm believer that writing by hand is much more effective than tapping on a keyboard. Here’s why…
When writing by hand, the letters have to be formed individually. In doing so, the signals in your brain process what’s on your mind into language you can understand, and transfer these concepts on to paper. This contrasts with typing, which is just tapping keys over and over again: a repetitious and far less connected activity. Paper is also much easier on the eyes than a screen, and there’s additional sensory stimulus in the gentle sound of the pencil across the paper and the turning of the pages.
For a long time I’d dive straight into the computer with a new project, but I’ve come to recognise that going digital too early is a mistake. That by encasing my words in glass and metal, I detach myself from the work. As a result, I now do a lot more writing by hand: reflective pages, blog and email drafts, sometimes even brainstorming, if you please.
I’m not suggesting you write everything by hand, and whatever works best for you is fine, but for something shorter, private or reflective, then I’d urge you to give longhand writing a try. Perhaps you could start with a letter to an old friend. Just think, feel, and write. Then put it into an envelope and post it. Who knows, you might even get something back in return.
I’m a novelist and scriptwriter, Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow and Advisory Fellow, workshop lead and creative coach. Click here to get the lowdown on updates, insight into projects, and a look behind the scenes on creative stuff. You can also follow TFW on Twitter, or like the Facebook page.