The Pleasure of Longhand


More often than I have in a long time, I find myself with the desire to write things out by hand. One of the reasons I find myself loving it more and more is because there’s something rather freeing about writing something out longhand. In the virtual world of your computer, even with the best apps, there’s really a limited amount of ways in which to write something, but on paper, you have the freedom to write in the lines, in between the lines, sideways, upside down, all the way around the page. You really have complete and utter freedom, you can make notes to yourself in the margins or even make a little doodle.

Arguably one of the best parts, for me, about hand writing is the fact that you get a sort of two-for-one draft of anything you’re writing. You get whatever you hand wrote and then, as they generally do, things change during the process of typing it into the computer and so it offers you an opportunity to edit a story without actually getting seriously into editing and rewriting things in the major way one does during the editing process.

I’d like for 2015 to be the year I start hand writing more things, that’s why I began with this post. It is, admittedly completely off the rails from my original handwritten draft, but that’s part of the beauty of writing the ‘first/rough’ draft by hand. It allows for changes like this, for spontaneity.

Don’t get me wrong, I love writing things on the computer, I have often argued that I do an entirely different caliber of work on the computer versus when I’m writing long hand, but there’s something to be said about the mix of the two, of writing it out longhand, mostly to write out ideas and outlines, and then moving to the computer to really flesh everything out into a fully realized story.

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