Writing by Hand

hand-writing

Photo Credit: Epidemic Answers

I’ll never claim to be an expert on anything writing related, but I think it’s safe to say that just about every writer today uses some kind of word processor on a computer when it comes to getting words on paper. Technology has definitely made writing a bit easier in recent years. But perhaps a few of you are old souls and prefer a much more time consuming process to get pen to paper. Maybe you write by hand.

I’m not sure how many years we’d have to go back in order to reach a time period in which everyone had to write just about everything by hand, but I know the typewriter has been around for some time. I’m sure there was something before even the typewriter to make writing a bit easier on the writer. But we all know that one person who never wants to embrace technology for whatever reason, right? There are millions of people who don’t have smartphones or who don’t have flat screen TVs, and that’s okay. But are there writers who still write all of their novels or poetry or short stories by hand? I can’t say, but maybe you can. Happen to know anyone (yourself included) who writes by hand? If so, tell them they’re crazy and let’s come together to buy them a laptop. How about it?

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75 thoughts on “Writing by Hand

  1. I once posted a similar question and had a few people answer that they do most of their writing with a pencil. I often will write short poems and the main ideas for longer works, but put me in front of a computer to put down much more than a couple of paragraphs.

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  2. I’m one of those old souls myself. Obviously, I have a computer and I type on it, but when it comes to my writing, I just cannot compose my work at a keyboard. I’ve tried, but everything I write on a computer is pure crap. Sometimes about the actual physical activity of creating the words by pushing a pen across paper makes the whole experience for me. I feel more directly connected with the words that way, and it shows in the writing. I’m killing millions of trees and creating more work for myself because I eventually have to type it all but, but it’s a process that works for me…and for my readers.

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  3. I’ve written short parts by hand when I’m on the go and can’t drag my laptop around. But it’s usually no more than a couple of pages and then I get home and type it all. But I used to write everything by hand. Everything. You’ve seen my stack of notebooks.

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  4. Hey, I almost always have my fountain pen, cartridges (green or black) and a note book or clipboard. I tend to be always thinking of stories or jotting down feelings. But with the onset of technology and the decline of teachers teaching cursive, fewer and fewer people know how to use the pen or pencil! So sad. 😦

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  5. Ever since I first starting writing when I was young I wrote by hand and to this day I still write everything I possibly could by hand. To me it’s more personal, letting the pen love the paper to form something that wasn’t there before.

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  6. I’ll jot notes and sometimes outline by hand, but the actual manuscript is strictly laptop if only for the fact that I can type more quickly than I can write.

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  7. For me it’s easier to write stories and poems by hand. There’s something about writing by hand that helps keep creative thoughts flowing better than using a computer.

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  8. Ideas and mapping/notes/outline gets written by hand. Actual stories and full narrative outlines are only typed. I don’t have the patience to transcribe it from paper to laptop.

    I do like to edit by hand though. I feel like I’m much more brutal when I can physically mark things out. Digital sticky notes just aren’t the same.

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  9. I love writing by hand. It’s how my best stories have started. For me, there is a connection to the story and the characters that can only be gained by writing by hand. Though, I have carpal tunnel and can not write by hand as much as I would want to.

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  10. For me, typing straight unto the computer makes the task easier. The grammar checks on MS word is also great.

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  11. Sometimes writing by hand helps me to focus, so I’ll go back to basics. I also like to write by hand when I first get a book idea and write all of my ideas down at once so it’s all in one place and can be as random and scattered as I want. Sometimes hand writing can give you more freedom, but it is definitely time consuming and makes my hand hurt haha. Definitely wouldn’t want to write an entire work like that!

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  12. I took me a long time to switch from writing by hand to laptop, but once I did I was relieved. I look at it as it’s saving time, allowing for my words to be written. There’s something about typing that always seems foreign though, and I’m from a younger generation. I just love holding a pen in my hand!

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  13. Wow! Harsh, lol. Hey, I am still old fashioned that way. I use my pen to exctract the flow of my ideas without the distraction of always editing my typos. Writing pages means I can’t stop and delete the ink, so I don’t. It’s amazing how much I get done. When I am satisfied, then I type it all onto my laptop. I consider that my first edit.

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  14. I used to write exclusively by hand. I thought the word processor/computer ruined the “magic” of writing. I was incredibly naive. But still, I didn’t convert to using my computer to compose fiction until tragedy struck. I’d written about 6 chapters of a novel, only to lose the notebook. I hunted for that notebook for the better part of six months, and I was so heartbroken that I couldn’t write during that time. The experience effectively killed any misconceptions of magic tied to handwriting.

    Now I type everything, and it’s allowed me to write much more quickly, and to write just so much more. I probably write double the words I would writing longhand. Also, this allows me to create back-ups, and I also email each chapter after I finish it, so that there is always a copy of my current work in progress somewhere.

    I’m a bit cautious now.

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  15. For whatever reason, I brainstorm better with pen/paper or similar utensils. The ideas are more creative and fun. When I’m on the computer, I feel like my creativity is limited. Possibly because there are too many distractions on ye olde interwebs. Also, computers sometimes feel a little cold and clinical to me, and I don’t want that for my books.
    However, when it comes down to the physical writing of paragraphs/chapters/books, that takes place at my laptop. I surround myself with the hard copies of all the notes I’ve made and get to work.
    So… paper is for the dreaming, computer is for the doing.

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  16. I think J.K. Rowling wrote all the Harry Potter books in long hand. My prefered method of writing is a stone tablet and chisel. It makes a hell of a mess but rewriting is not an option so I save myself a ton of time.

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  17. I am not old fashioned at all but I write everything by hand. Granted, typing it up afterwards is awful but I can’t be creative in front of a glaring screen.

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  18. “If so, tell them they’re crazy and let’s come together to buy them a laptop.” Hahah that is the best sentence you have ever written on this blog, in my opinion. That made me smile so hard.
    I do write by hand! I am halfway through a notebook for my fantasy novel. When I type, I can’t control myself and I edit it as I go and fix every little detail. It ruins all of my flow. When I write by hand, it pours out in a rush of ideas and then I fix it later.

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  19. Another crazy here. Child of the ’50’s – I too write by hand. Printing. All caps. Done this since 7th grade. My hand never hurts. The secret is in your grip. I’ve found the best pens for a smooth and speedy ride, barely any grip necessary = “Pilot Precise Rolling Ball – Fine or Extra Fine.” I buy whole boxes of them, then transcribe the chapters into my desktop and print them out to read out loud to myself and tweak by hand…with my Pilot Precise Rolling Ball pen!

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  20. I actually do all my first drafts on paper, and usually a pen, not pencil. I have a few reasons for this. 1) Especially since I’m still in school and I try not to carry my phone into classes with me a notebook is handy. 2) A notebook and pen don’t have batteries. As long as you don’t lose your pen or run out of ink you’re set. 3) On a screen (or in pencil) it’s easy to go back and change any mistakes you make. But generally my first draft will always suck, and I’m just wasting time trying to edit while I write. So I just go. I write and write until I’ve finished the first draft. Then I can type it up and do my editing; But that’s just what works for me. Everyone’s different and should do what suits them

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  21. I journal and write letters by hand. Other things I do on the computer but since I can’t type I’m sure it takes even longer than if I had used pen and paper.

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  22. Pingback: Writing Pet Peeves #11: Sarcasm | Write me a book, John!

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