Why I Write Longhand
I didn't used to, at least not very often. Like so many students, I would put off writing that short story or essay until the last minute, and then I'd have no choice but to do everything on the computer. However, now that I'm no longer a procrastinating student, I'm writing the first draft of my first novel by hand.
Many people are surprised that I would actually write a 300+ page novel by hand, or even a 20 page short story. Some admire what I think they see as my dedication.
I don't mean to blow my own horn. I don't write longhand because I'm particularly dedicated, or because I have a romantic allegiance to what many see as a dying practice. I write longhand for two reasons. The first is that when I'm writing on my computer, I'm as easily distracted by the internet as an OCD squirrel is distracted by shiny tinfoil. When I write longhand, I have fewer excuses to procrastinate.
The second reason is that I like scribbling notes in the margins as I go. Sure, most word processors have a comments function. But I've found that writing longhand notes is more dynamic, more "organic." If I dislike something I've written or I think it's out of place, I just cross it out but flip back to it later if I think it would work elsewhere in the book.
If you haven't written anything longhand in a very long time, try hand-writing a short story, or perhaps the next chapter of your WIP. I'd love to hear about your experience, whether it gave you a new perspective on your writing, whether you liked or disliked, and why. Writing longhand isn't for everybody, but it's right for some of us, and maybe you're one.
Labels: writing life