Writing...Longhand

When I start writing the draft of a book or an article, the laptop is my constant companion. My fingers scramble across the keyboard to move and arrange my thoughts along quickly. It allows me to jump back and forth between paragraphs and pages, and, once completed, makes it far easier to read than my chicken scribble. I can switch fonts and change page layouts galore. But once the draft is done, the pages are printed; the hard copy combed over with a pen. According to an article from The Guardian, reading from a hard copy may allow for better concentration, while taking longhand notes increases understanding and retention. Not to mention, reading longhand is easier on the eyes and brings this writer closer to the feel and smell of a beloved book. My soul is more easily poured onto the pages with a pen, the words charged with emotion. Taking the time to physically write (and yes, scribble counts as writing) forces the writer to stop and think, take note, and decide what works and what doesn’t. Notes can be made in margins and notebooks to be considered later. These notes become a road map, leading the writer to invent the best possible way of reaching a conclusion and seeing all the various creative stages.

For this same reason, I write thank you notes in longhand. They just wouldn’t have the same impact and meaning for me if the words are typed and sent in an email. I’m old school that way.

When I had the privilege of appearing on an author panel with the wonderful Anne Perry, she informed us that she writes the entire manuscript in long hand and has an assistant do the typing. That could explain the success behind her books.

All this doesn’t mean a writer should do away with electronics when it comes to completing the manuscript, but for me, it means, using a combination of the keyboard and handwriting to propel the story we want written forward.

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VICKY

I think you have to have a talent to write, and you are fortunate to have that talent. :)