The other day I found this interesting blog by Chris Hilton (follow the link at the end to read it) about whether those who use a computer or those who write longhand are more creative.
I found many of the arguments persuasive, but for me it boils down to the physical. My hands, arms, and shoulders are so abused after a lifetime of making my living with a computer keyboard that writing with a pencil (or a pen) would cause me some fairly significant pain.
And I’m not sure my handwriting would be fast enough for the little man who drives my creativity.
Plus, I’m not even sure I could read my own writing anymore and I’m absolutely positive that no one else could.
But enough about me. What do you think? Do you write longhand? Or do you use a computer? Are there times when you might do both? Would you ever try longhand?
Read Hilton’s post: Write or type?
Michael Ehret loves to play with words and as the editor of CHEFS Mix Blog for CHEFS Catalog he is enjoying his playground. Previous playgrounds include being the Managing Editor of the magazine ACFW Journal and the ezine Afictionado for seven years. He also plays with words as a freelance editor and has edited several nonfiction books, proofedited for Abingdon Press, worked in corporate communications, and reported for The Indianapolis Star.
Pencil image courtesy of ponsulak / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
There is no consequence to which of the transcription methods a person prefers. It’s quite silly to suggest otherwise. I could be writing with my
foot, if it were dextrous enough to wield a pen, with no detriment to my creativity. Creativity resides in the mind, the physical aspects of writing are subject to physical considerations, or sometimes sentimental ones if you
care to scrimmage with long hand.
Not sure I agree, having tried several different ways and talked with many different writers about their process. But I do think it varies widely from person to person, so for you I’m sure you’re right. Glad you stopped by.
You’re right. But if these writers focused more on their product than their process i bet i wouldnt have to struggle like i do, trying to find something palatable to read on WordPress. Guh!!! That’s my frustration exhalation noise.
No way could I handwrite a book. My hand can’t keep up with my brain ,,, at least not readably. My mind moves so fast, it’s almost like a movie unfolding.
Yeah, there’s that. Besides the physical pain I’d suffer from handwriting … But I wonder if that’s just training …? If there were no word processors … would we be OK with handwriting? The words have to come out somehow, right?
For reasons I can’t explain, I do my best planning (outlining) by hand. I may jot down a few lines of dialogue if they come, or even some narrative. Once I’ve got the outline fleshed out, then it’s computer time. I type faster than I write–and it’s much more legible. 🙂
Planning? What is this planning you speak of? 🙂
For my first drafts, there’s nothing that compares to freewriting with pen and paper for me. Now, I DO freewrite on my computer from time to time, but ONLY if I’m in a rush to produce–like a blog post. It seems that I don’t really know what I’m going to say until after I write it down at times–like right now. Anybody relate?
I have never enjoyed the physical process of writing by hand since my kindergarten teacher lied to me. She said if we made perfect overlapping circles between the big lines, looping them nicely where the dashed line runs between them, we could drive a car when we got older. She related those drawn circles to turning a steering wheel. I distrusted everything she said after that. I developed a fine set of personal abbreviations taking notes by pencil in college biology and graduate biochemistry. My handwriting has not been decoded to this day. Currently, I type as fast as I think, like an extension of my brain. There is no way I would write fiction by hand and transcribe it later.
It’s interesting to me that there are as many different ways to do this as there are people. I also could not write by hand … it’s not fast enough, as you say!