I know what some of you are thinking. You’re thinking: Why would I ever handwrite when I have this fabulous computer with its lovely keyboard and convenient word program? I totally understand this sentiment. I do a fair bit of my rough drafting in front of a computer screen too, but not all of it. Writing on paper is actually a pretty useful tool.
First of all, I can do it anywhere. My laptop died a tragic death via a virus infestation, so of course I can’t lug my desktop and all its thousands of cords into the car or up to my bedroom or wherever else I may feel like writing. And when I later type up the pieces I’ve written, it’s like I’m doing a second draft already. Because of course, I edit as I go. If something’s awkwardly worded, I’m going to change it then—why wait? My apartment is filled with notebook after notebook, and it gives me a strange feeling of accomplishment to flip through a notebook, and know there’s the better part of a book in there. My own words, from my own fingers, in my own handwriting.
Not that handwriting doesn’t have its downfalls. Transcribing my oh-so-beautiful handwriting does take some time. And writing it all down in the first place can be interesting—my brain works a lot faster than I can write, so if the ideas are really flowing, my poor hand starts to feel pretty abused.
I could be wrong, but I think more people stick to typing, bypassing the notebook stage. It does have its appeal—fast, convenient, and easy to erase those embarrassing sentences that make you think, “Good God, did I seriously write that?” and forget they ever happened. Plus, there’s no internet on a sheet of lined paper, no convenient resources like Wikipedia or dictionary.com or Google to reassure you that you’re not just making stuff up. (Although the internet can also be a huge distraction, so this may be both a pro and a con.)
So how about you? Handwriting? Typing? A mixture of both?