Pros and Cons of Writing Longhand

It’s 2018. It seems kind of crazy that anyone would choose to write by hand, not on a computer.

And yet…here I am.

And I’m not the only one! I can think of two others off the top of my head who do the same thing!

And I say it’s a choice, but…I’ve tried. The only things I can write on my computer are blog posts and things like that. Fiction? Nah! I just…can’t do it.

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Pro: I FEEL MORE CONNECTED TO THE STORY

This is HUGE. In fact, it might be what keeps me from writing when I’m at my computer. Something about the amount of time it takes, the feeling of actually making something, not just watching it appear on the screen, makes me feel a lot closer to my story. If you write longhand, you probably know what I mean—and if you don’t, it probably sounds like I’m crazy. :D

 

Con: IT TAKES FOREVER

It feels like forever, at least. I wrote for about 40 minutes this morning and managed…well, I’m not sure how many words, because I didn’t count. But I’d guess it was around 500 words. I type **goes and takes typing test** about 90 words a minute—yes, accurately. And my mind definitely works quicker than that.

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Pro: IT ELIMINATES DISTRACTIONS

Not having the Internet at my fingertips is huge. I’m not constantly refreshing Twitter, checking YouTube, and scrolling through Pinterest. I’m writing! True, I often am using YouTube to listen to some tunes…but sometimes I’m using something else and can turn off the Internet entirely. This is such a big deal to me that, even if I didn’t “have to” write longhand, I might choose to.

 

Con: IT’S MESSY

It doesn’t have to be. And I actually like to keep things organized. But I’m covered in ink stains, and so are my blankets and clothes. At least ink smells good?
Oh. And let’s not get started on my handwriting. It isn’t awful. I like it, sometimes. But if I’ve been writing for a while, or have a wonky pen, or am sitting at a weird angle (which I always am! I hunch over my paper like you wouldn’t believe!), the legibility of my handwriting suffers.

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Pro: I CAN USE UP MY NOTEBOOK STASH

I have quite the stash of notebooks, and I’m often gifted with more. (YAY!!! KEEP THEM COMING!) Now, I’m fairly picky about what I’ll write a manuscript in, I’ve found…but when I journal, it’s in a physical journal, too, despite all of the apps out there I could be using.

 

“Con”: I HAVE A HOARD OF NOTEBOOKS

I don’t have a problem. You do. :D

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Pro: I CAN’T SECOND-GUESS MYSELF SO MUCH

I write in pen…I kind of hate pencils. Yeah, there are the kinds you can erase, and I definitely scratch out words here and there. But editing as I go isn’t nearly as easy on paper. If I were on the computer, it’s just the backspace key! Who knows what I might be throwing away otherwise?

 

Con: IT ISN’T AS EASY TO KEEP TRACK OF MY PROGRESS

In some cases, this is okay. Writing quickly or slowly isn’t the point. In fact, my daily writing goals aren’t word count, but the amount of time I’ve spent writing. Still, it’d be nice to be able to see that word count without needing to type it all up.

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Pro: IT WAS GOOD ENOUGH FOR THE OLDIES

Your favorite old books were written by hand. Heck, I’d be willing to bet that some of your favorite “new” books started out that way, too!

 

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Which camp do you belong in?

I’d say that I’m in pretty good company!

Write the way you want to write—and don’t let anyone else tell you “how to write”. :P

To the Stage-Frightened Writer

So you want to share your writing…or at least talk to someone about it…but you’re terrified to do that?

You know that you’ll be a part of that amazing writing community online!

You know it could give you some great new ideas!

You know that it’s important.

But you just can’t do it.

 

Guess what?

I was this way, too! For…a really long time.

I still am, sometimes.

 

So I want to help you through it, too! Because being on the other side of it is such a beautiful thing!

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IT’S OKAY

Writing is…like putting pieces of yourself on paper. It’s super vulnerable! So it’s only natural that you feel reluctant to share that with others! You’ve poured yourself into the characters, the story, the world…and the time that that’s taken you alone makes it difficult to open up to criticism. (And when you factor in how much you care about it…well. Like I said. It’s okay!)

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NO ONE SAYS YOU HAVE TO SHARE YOUR WRITING

You can keep it to yourself…forever. Don’t feel like you need to share about your writing just because other people to, or you were asked to share. But if you want to share your writing…keep reading!

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FIGURE OUT WHY IT SCARES YOU

Maybe it’s just because of the vulnerability of it all.

Maybe you feel like your writing isn’t as good as it should be.

Or you’ve had someone critique something in the past and it hurt…too much to do that again.

 

It’s pretty much impossible to solve problems if you don’t know what’s caused it in the first place. So do some soul searching and see what you find!

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REACH OUT TO OTHER WRITERS

This is still what I do. I don’t talk about my writing with anyone who isn’t a writer…I would probably be able to a bit better now than before, but there’s so much about writing that’s just…weird. Things that others wouldn’t understand. And being judged on that isn’t fun.

So find other writers! They’ll understand this anxiety better than anyone else. And if you find some of the really great ones, it becomes…a lot easier than you’d ever imagine to talk about your writing. Because they’ll be encouraging and excited!!

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BE PATIENT

Be patient with yourself.

Be patient with this process of opening up. It takes time! But the more you do it, and the more success you have, the easier it’ll become!

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SHARE LITTLE PIECES AT A TIME

What would you be comfortable sharing? Start small! Just say what genre you’re writing. Describe your main character in three words.

Expand that comfort zone, little by little.

 

If you keep at it, I think you’ll find that you’re your own worst critic. Those heart palpitations go away, eventually, and you’re left with some beautiful friendships and amazing ideas for your book that your friend came up with! Starting a discussion about an aspect of writing can bring up so many ideas—and it’s just a fascinating thing to talk about!

It’s okay to be scared…but don’t let the fear paralyze you!

For real. Those writer friends are invaluable!

To the Too Busy Writer

You might be in school right now. Or maybe you have your own family. And a job!
BUT THAT DOESN’T MEAN YOU CAN’T WRITE YOUR BOOK!

Whaaaat??!
It’s true!
It takes intention and work, but you can do it!! And here are a few tips for you!

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