Writing longhand

I think I’m a rare type when it comes to writing.  I write longhand.

Writing the blog post

I have a 5 subject, college lined spiral notebook that I use for my rewrites and novel writing.  A single subject notebook for trying to write short stories and brainstorming, and several small moleskins for writing out blog posts.

My writing pens are Pilot EasyTouch pens.  A black one for home and a blue one at work.  Makes it easier to differentiate what I’ve written when. I’ve tried using other pens; for a while I used the blue pen at work, but that gave me a hand cramp from using so much pressure to get the ink out.  These pens, the ink flows.

What I’ve found with writing longhand is that the words almost fly out of the pen.  But I have trouble getting words to hit the screen when I’m typing.

Pretty sure it’s a combination of things.  My writing computer is a laptop, and it’s really not that comfortable to use.  My desk is too high, or my chair too low, to be able to sit and type for a prolonged length of time.

Plus I spend most of my day with a pencil in hand instead of typing on a computer.  May be related, may not.

I have an odd habit of just watching the letters and words form, watching the pointed shadow of the pen on the paper and the words appearing on the page.

I don’t get any of that with writing on a computer.

And I think it shows.  In the past, Rob has pointed out passages in my writing that work, and some that don’t.  More often than not, what worked well was written by hand, and what came across as stilted was written on the computer.

I know a lot of people prefer writing on a computer because they say it’s faster.  For them, I’m sure it is.  Not so much for me.  Like I’ve said before, I can get 250 to 500 words written at lunch.  Depending on how long it takes me to eat and how much reading I’m doing, that’s usually about 15 to 30 minutes.  Hell, I’ve managed about 1000 to 1500 in that time period.

The absolute best I’ve done in the past were a few 8-10,000 days–I think it totaled about 40,000 that week.

Another reason lots of people prefer computer is legibility.  Which, yeah, can be a problem.  I’m worse when I wrote only in cursive (as were the wrist cramps), but since I’ve started using something of a print/script hybrid, not so much.  And I’m more aware of the problems I do have.  I leave out some letters–almost without fail I’m dropping the n in -ing.  O and a can sometimes look alike.  Sometimes it’s just a matter of writing so quickly that the letters get a bit flattened, though that’s definitely more of a problem with cursive.

But overall–I much, much prefer writing longhand.  And one big, huge reason why-if I ever lose my file, my back up, anything like that-I still have my notebook.

About Rachel

I'm a writer in progress, and in my day job I copyedit/solve puzzles.
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