How Drafting Longhand Can Enhance Your Writing

longhand-manuscript-dim-hou

You know how you try clothes on before deciding what to wear on a date? Do you iron those clothes before holding them in the mirror? I hope not, because that’ll be like undoing your pants to fart.

Yet that’s how most writers tend to approach the first draft. They iron their clothes, spritz on a bit of perfume, and have their makeup ready—all before knowing what they’re going to wear.

So today we’re going to talk first drafts. But we’re not going to talk just any first draft. We’re going to check out the benefits of drafting longhand.

First things first

Let’s start with the fact that there are many ways to tackle the blank page. Longhand is just one tool. And before we get on with the specific method, I just want to cover the mindset you should bring.

You will need to write as if you’re deciding what to wear. Nothing is finalised yet. Heck, you might not even go out on that date. So don’t fret over accessories or shoes, and try to see the big picture here.

There’s a high chance that you’ll discard every word from your first draft. If you keep that in mind, putting down imperfect words will become less of an ordeal.

You might also feel like drafting longhand is a waste of time. Why go through these fun and games just to get a few scribbles down on paper?

You’re not alone. Pen and paper can so easily feel like dawdling around instead of working on an actual project. But I promise that your sentences will start to guide you once you stick to it for fifteen minutes or so.

And when worse comes to worst, remember that the act of writing itself is the point. No matter the end product, you’ll always come out of a writing session a tiny bit better than before. Win-win!

Man sitting at a desk with a lamp and drawing mannequin

This guy’s probably drawing, but what the heck. Photo: Thomas Franke

Mould before you chisel

I love looking at writing as chiselling versus moulding. There’s the pottery part of it, where you mould something from nothing. Then there’s chipping away at a block to get what’s hidden within.

For me, there’s no picking between them. You need both moulding (drafting) and chiselling (editing) in the writing process.

When you’re in drafting mode, you’re not looking for beauty. You’re merely establishing your boundaries. Getting the rough shape down. Once you have that, then you begin sanding and polishing.

You will be tempted to craft your magnum opus every time you see a blank page. Don’t give in. There will be time for that later. When it’s time to draft, draft.

Treat your editor as a separate being

There’s this hack I once saw on Reddit on how to get more answers to your question. Instead of asking, you spew the wrong answers to your question. That’ll result in more answers because people love correcting others more than helping.

Whether or not that statement carries any basis remains unknown. But that’s how you should look at the drafting process—a way of annoying your editor into action.

So write as badly as you can. It’s a prerequisite. Give yourself permission to suck. It’s the only way that your editor will swoop in saying “Yep, that’s a mess. Let’s fix that.”

The trick is not letting the editor in until you’re done drafting. And writing longhand is a pretty decent way of achieving that.

More benefits to longhand

My first novel was written entirely with pen and paper, and it’s the only manuscript out of six that’s ever been published. Coincidence? Maybe. But what I can tell you is that the words just hit different when you embrace the slower nature of handwriting.

One benefit of drafting longhand is that once I put the first few words down, I tend to finish the rest of the sentence. There’s no deleting the first words until I find the perfect start, no false starts, no doubt.

I either cross out my mistakes—if needed—or move on. And since writing by hand takes so much energy, I often find myself opting just to get the words out.

Also, since I start every sentence to completion, my inner editor tends to stay in her office. Because we have to write something, right?

My editor is irked by incomplete sentences too, and will thus allow me to finish without much comment. If anything, she makes fun of my handwriting instead of the prose itself.

Another thing I’ve noticed is that I am much more succinct with my words when writing longhand. Again, writing this way takes up so much energy that I often just write down the important bits.

I know I’m going to edit later when I transcribe to the computer, so even caveman sentences work. Weirdly enough, those sentences don’t sound as bad when it comes time to edit.

Longhand Draft Book - Stuart Danker

My longhand draft for this article. Photo: Stuart Danker

The speed of thought

The next time you try both handwriting and typing, take a moment to notice your thoughts. When you’re typing, you capture your thoughts as they materialise. When you write by hand, you tend to think before you write.

When I write digitally, my thoughts get transcribed verbatim onto the screen. But with a pen, the sentence would go through three edits in my head before I reach the full stop.

And that’s a trade-off that I can live with. I don’t mind sacrificing speed if I’ll be happier with what I write at the end of each session. And at an average typing speed of 100 words per minute, I can zoom through a draft much quicker on a keyboard.

The thing is, writing isn’t all about speed, isn’t it?

My personal practices

Want more actionable info? I’ve got you covered. Here are a few practical tips that I’ve fine-tuned to work for me.

i. I write each sentence as a separate entity

When I write on paper, it’s almost like I’m writing separate micro stories for every sentence. Each sentence may or may not have anything to do with the next one.

Basically, I get an idea in my head and I go as far as it would take me. Once I’m done, that sentence is forgotten, and it belongs in its own tiny container.

The challenge of drafting this way is the assembly. This is why I underline the main points of a sentence so that it’s easier to skim during transcribing.

The upside to this is that writing feels effortless. Sometimes my sentences run on for a hundred words. Sometimes it’s ten words. But I never feel like I have to ‘work on’ a huge project. It ends up feeling more like a journal entry.

ii. I use the slow burn

I like juggling multiple articles at once. And I’ve found that inspiration for any of them can strike throughout the day. So whenever I get an idea, I just add it to the relevant projects and move on.

When I’m in this mode, I don’t write articles from beginning to end. That part’s reserved for the editing phase.

How do I know when I have enough for a project and am ready for transcribing? It’s when I’ve filled four A4 pages’ worth of words. That’s an average of 1,000 words. You can adjust your goalposts accordingly.

Three candles and a notebook on a tabletop

You can use the candle or inferno method. There really is no right or wrong way. Photo: Sixteen Miles Out

iii. I exhaust my own ideas first

I don’t go out into the wild that is Google until I’ve used up my own ideas. This is because the top-ten results may sway the original angle I had on a story, and I want to draft with an untainted mind as possible.

It’s only after I’m done that I start my research, just to see if I’m repeating too much of what others have said.

iv. I ask myself questions

First of all is always: What’s the point of this post? Then I ask the same question for each subsection.

Sometimes, when I’m stuck, I use questions to guide me through the muddy bit. So I’m not exactly creating new material as much as I’m answering my own questions.

Or if you prefer, you can describe what you want to write to a friend instead of actually writing the post. Just a tiny perspective shift that may unlock your ability to write.

Also, it’s good to trick your brain back since it often leads you to think that your writing sucks. Payback, witches.

v. I use personal shorthand

I don’t write full words and I add my own lingo. ‘Procrastination’ becomes ‘pcr’. ‘Because’ becomes ‘cos’. And these change from article to article too.

Remember, you’re not ‘performing’ yet. This is just you speaking to yourself. So it doesn’t matter what you write as long as you understand it.

Building upon this point, I also write in print instead of cursive, despite preferring the latter. I’ve found that print is easier to reread, and it avoids having to decipher my handwriting, which is a huge flow-killer for me.

Go long

At the end of the day, it’s all about fun. It’s like how they always recommend you to find the exercise you like best. There’s no point forcing yourself to run if you’d much prefer to swim.

It’s the same here. The best method for you is one you’d actually use. So give longhand a whirl, but if you hate it, just remember that there are tons of other methods to try.

Because your ultimate goal should be to do only one thing: Write.

Have you tried longhand before? How do you feel about it? Share your thoughts with me!


My newsletter is in digital form, but some of them have been drafted longhand too. Join the community and claim your guide on how to grow your blog if you’re a new subscriber.

118 thoughts on “How Drafting Longhand Can Enhance Your Writing

  1. Pingback: How Drafting Longhand Can Enhance Your Writing – mjpankey.com

  2. Pingback: October 2022 Monthly Wrap-Up & Mini-Reviews || Lots of Traveling and Reading Spontaneously – Stories and Sidequests

  3. I love this article. I’m going back to writing the first draft longhand. Tried it before and gave it up as a waste of time. But I’m reminded why it’s not. And I write faster than type. And my writing is clear and quite pretty! All good. But the best advantage is that thoughts can flow unedited and ungoogled. Great idea. Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s so cool that you have all the benefits of longhand. I have to actively remind myself to keep my handwriting legible, lol. I really need to go back to longhand drafting for my novels too. Thanks for your lovely string of comments!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I love this, and I love the analogy with trying on clothes! I always enjoy when you talk about handwriting because we’re certainly kindred spirits in that respect. 😁 I’m still getting used to the process of handwriting again since I took a break for a couple years for efficiency’s sake when I started freelancing. I’m trying my best to take my time and not rush myself; writing by hand might be slower, but I definitely think you’re right about pen and paper producing better results than typing. Anyway, thanks for another great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I use a mix of all methods, so longhand probably doesn’t get the attention it deserves from me, but I think i shall draft my next novel longhand once more. It’s also great to know that I’ll have a real, physical backup lying around. I wouldn’t say one’s better than the other though. But they produce different output, for sure! Always lovely to see your thoughtful comments!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This is great advice. Especially to print instead of using cursive. My cursive is way too messy. I remember Annie Proulx saying that she can tell if someone has used a computer or longhand to write their prose, as it sounded different. I think you hit the nail on the head when you said, “When you’re typing, you capture your thoughts as they materialise. When you write by hand, you tend to think before you write.”

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    • I’ve worked on my penmanship for a bit, but still I think that cursive is terrible for readback compared to print. This is especially true when I’m trying to sort through the jumble of words, and need to quickly make sense of each chunk. I love the physical flow of cursive though. Much less effort.

      I love your comment, and it’s such a well thought message. I appreciate you!

      Like

  6. Pingback: The Difference between Meditation and Journaling – Lyrical Thinking

  7. I have started novellas using longhand, as well as some articles. The only time I generally go straight to typing is when I’m participating in NaNoWriMo. When one is trying to do 50,000 words in a month it’s much easier to keep track using Google Docs or Scrivener.

    I do agree: it’s more thorough for me to write longhand because I don’t want to waste time or paper on gibberish.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha yeah. I’ve noticed at least a 3x increase in time it takes to complete a project when I just type directly. And Scrivener has the best word counter, that’s for sure. But here’s to using all forms of writing to come up with our best craft! Thanks as always for visiting, Diane :)

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I think writing longhand helps alot. In my experience I’ve made great posts by this method. Using it makes you think freely and effortlessly coz you are patient with your thoughts. It’s tiresome sometimes but it’s worthit

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I haven’t tried to write a novel longhand in about fifteen years, but I may give it a try again! I do write shorter things, like poems, to do lists, and lesson plans by hand, and those seem to work out okay. :D I like your point about asking yourself questions. I typically tend to revise as I’m writing, but I find that when I’m interacting more with what I’m writing rather than just putting the thoughts down and moving on, I can get a better grasp on the big picture themes or other parts of the puzzle. Thanks for sharing your process!

    Liked by 2 people

    • That asking questions method works well for reading too! Information gets digested much better when we interact with the material in front of us.

      And writing to-do lists by hand is just much easier, isn’t it? I, for one, find it much easier to refer to a piece of paper than my phone when I’m out doing groceries.

      Always love you stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I have not written anything “longhand” in too many years to mention. I moved from longhand to a typewriter, thence to a word Processor and then to a computer. I like writing on a keyboard. My initial thought was “this is silly why not take advantage of technology” But then I started thinking back to the days when I wrote long hand and had it transcribed. There were very few inconsistencies, I thought first and then wrote. On the computer I write first, type and produce and then spend endless hours fixing things. And so, I wonder wither you have it right. I suspect that after my initial misgivings that you have truth on you side.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The way you describe how you think first before you write, versus writing first on the keyboard, is exactly how I feel when it comes to longhand. There’s a lot of thinking involved because one, I don’t want to waste my time writing dud sentences, and two, because I want to keep the words economical. Love your comment. Thanks for sharing!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I’m going to try this for my next first draft! The thought of writing longhand sounds daunting but oddly thrilling. 😂 I definitely type as I think, so having a slower but better end result when writing by hand is appealing to me. And, your note about how ‘the act of writing itself is the point’ is so so true, and a great reminder. Thank you for this!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Longhand won’t necessarily give you better prose though. But it will give you different prose. Am curious to how it goes!

      I think the way I deal with the slower process is to accept that handwriting takes longer. Then I start enjoying writing out every word instead of feeling frustrated that I can’t keep up with my thoughts. Therapeutic for sure. Thanks so much for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Stuart ,
    Thanks much for sharing your modes of writing and creative process. I used to think that I write better when I type words on a keyboard but I find that I have a tendency to edit and embellish whenever I return to the story. I enjoy writing longhand but I only do it for work and for journalling. You know there are films about writers where you see the writer typing away, it does create an impression when you romanticize the process. I do see your point about using longhand, your mind works a little differently. Another great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’d love to try all the methods. If only I can find an affordable typewriter, lol. I think I’ve written in various mediums now, but the ones I’ve yet to try are the niche tools and voice-to-text. I wonder if those affect the way I write as well.

      Journalling longhand is the best! I’m pretty chaotic with my journals, as I keep both digital and analogue versions, but nothing grounds me like a good handwriting session.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Hello hello… It’s been awhile… but I’m back!! Another thought provoking post and always offer us something for to take away from.

    I am a huge fan of writing with pen and paper. However, my biggest gripe is that I keep changing my mind with my sentence constructions and it ended up being really messy on a page!! Hmph! And so I give up. Perfection definitely got the better of me. But having said that, on the odd days when the stars and my thoughts are aligned, everything just flows, I find my writing is more expressive and creative on paper than on computer! But how do I make that the norm rather than the exception?? Haha

    Liked by 1 person

    • Welcome back!

      Ha, I actually enjoy seeing a mess on paper, because when it becomes a final product on the screen, it looks like a process has been done.

      I don’t think there’s ever a way to get our process to be the exact way we like it to be. But we maximise our chances by—cliche incoming—just writing :P

      Thanks so much for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Heya Jeanne! Long time no see. Lol yeah my handwriting was unreadable too because I’d been on a keyboard most my life. Had to actively practise to get it back. But anything counts as long as the words are out! :P

      Like

  14. I always write my blog drafts on my Remarkable writing tab, by hand before I send them to my phone, where I edit them and then I post them in the WordPress app. I love writing by hand, so I am a huge fan of the Remarkable which feels like writing on paper.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Great post! I love writing by hand, and if I feel like my thoughts are too confused in my head, writing my ideas down always helps. I had no rational explanation behind it but you explain it beautifully! The only difference for me is that my first draft usually ends up to be very similar to my final draft – I guess my internal editor is not very competent ahah! I’m also not necessarily more succint in writing because I used to force myself to write as many pages as possible in my uni assignments (they had to be written by hand) so I’ve sort of kept this bad habit… and now you end up with very long comments to your brilliant posts :P

    Liked by 2 people

    • I actually envy overwriters because I find it hard to reach the minimum word counts of submission guidelines, and it’s not to say that lack of words is making my first draft more succinct, lol. Maybe I should follow your style and force myself to write as many pages as possible on random stuff.

      Loved your thoughts here. Always a treat having you around, Juliette!

      Liked by 1 person

      • It’s funny because I don’t like being an “overwriter” – it was great to hand in big impressive assignments at uni, but now I always fear my articles and posts are too long for people to read them and I wish I were more succint ahah!

        Like

    • Thinking on paper is interesting indeed, for it gives a form to your thoughts, so that you can dissect them and determine if it’s worth thinking. Pretty interesting, for sure. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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  16. Excellent post, Stuart. I write my morning pages longhand and have noticed some of the benefits you list. However I always draft my blog posts online thinking that will save time. I will give your ideas a whirl with my next post. Thanks for the ideas! Bookmarked this for later.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Different tools, really. I go digital when I need to save time too. For instance, I’ve found that I’m twice as quick when I type versus handwrite a novel. And twice as quick on a six-month project is pretty substantial.

      So yeah, there’s a reason why I’ve only handwritten one manuscript, but I kinda miss it and might try that again soon. Hope that longhand will be fun for your next post as it was for me in this one!

      Like

  17. I like to write long hand because it gives me the chance to edit a turn of phrase when I’m putting it to wordprocessor. It wasn’t necessarily wrong, but between the original writing and the typing, a new thought occurred to me.
    Although, living with a chronic pain condition, I live in fear that my ability to write long hand is going to end one day and soon(ish). But that is a bridge I’ll cross when I arrive at it. Until then, long hand it is.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ugh, definitely sucks to be hurt till longhand will be out of the question. Thankfully you can still do it in the present day, and sometimes that’s the only thing we can look towards.

      And yeah, what essentially goes into the computer is the second draft, and when it comes to editing, longhand really does offer a workflow for more polished prose. Thanks so much for sharing your flow, Heather!

      Liked by 1 person

  18. I force myself to write in a journal when I’m traveling and I want to scream until I’m finished with each entry. I’m always glad I’ve recorded the day for posterity, but I don’t like writing it out longhand. I actually love the act of typing. I can understand the benefits you describe, though.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Haha yeah I remember you saying you dislike journalling longhand in one of your previous comments. Different strokes, and that’s okay. My January self probably had a wildly different preference to my today self when it comes to writing tools, so yeah :P

      Liked by 1 person

  19. I love this! For years I’ve wondered what’s better, if there were pros and cons to either method (whether writing longhand or typing it out). I’ve always loved writing my notes longhand; something about the feel of the paper, smell of the ink, motivates me to write.
    Anyway, I truly appreciate this. Thanks for the wonderful post, friend!

    Liked by 2 people

    • The best way to get more data is to compare on your own. I’ve found that with handwriting, I don’t have the pressure to perform. But with typing, I can mould something quicker if need be. It’s interesting to see how differently my mind works with each medium. And I appreciate you for stopping by!

      Like

  20. In a time of speed, Stuart, this was a great article to take some time out and read. All my writing starts off as ink in my journal. I have always loved that connection with the flow of a pen across paper. There is something meditative about the process. Once I’ve finished, I move over to my laptop and type and edit. The process is much slower, but I always feel I need that initial connection to my writing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • ‘Connection’ is the word for sure. I mean, I wouldn’t do the same if I have a deadline, but for personal writing, nothing beats the mindset that comes from simple pen and paper. Always interested in other writers’ workflow, so thanks for sharing!

      Liked by 1 person

  21. This is amazing! Love the fact that the manuscript you wrote by hand got published! Great points too about how handwriting goes through more edits. My best guy always says to keep a notebook with me. And to write everything there. Love this post!

    Liked by 2 people

  22. My recent book review on ikigai was also drafted in longhand method. I use this specially when it comes to comic blog posts because my thoughts do change time to time so I find it easy to track myself on paper but when it comes to other blog posts, I might simply typing it up on word. I used to write and edit on the spot just to save some time but I’ll try to change that habit with time.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Whatever works, works. No reason to change the habit if it works. I personally write and edit in one go if I’m short on time. I just find it fun sometimes to be able to draft without needing batteries. Thanks for sharing your process!

      Liked by 1 person

  23. I used to write longhand. But i ended up typing it up word for word and THEN editing. So now I turn off spellchecker and roll. No red squiggleys to distract me.
    When the first draft is done, The Editor moves in. She’s a bitch. I’m easy going. She cuts and chops away more than she corrects. She says I’m too wordy and I think readers are stupid.
    We have a love/hate relationship.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lol I love how you describe your editor as a different person, because that’s how I see myself too. Though I wouldn’t type things out word for word first, because the transcribing already takes long enough. Love your process!

      Like

  24. An interesting post, Stuart.
    I prefer handwriting in pencil on a lined paper. Especially, in the Devanagari script of Hindi, Marathi or Konkani languages.
    Although, Google Translate helps me to convert my English script into the Devanagari (देवनागरी) script instantly, I have to make several attempts to get the writing perfect.
    So, I enjoy handwriting my English as well as देवनागरी script.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I love using pencils when I want to write vertically. The only downside is that I don’t use a lot of pressure, so pencil tends to look very light. But it’s so cool to see your process, especially in different languages. I’d prefer blank pages (in notebooks, especially) if given the choice though, but lined paper is the most common here in Malaysia. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!

      Liked by 1 person

  25. I constantly handwrite so it’s perfectly natural to me. I don’t draft though because when I type up things word for word I get very discouraged because the typed result is much shorter visually than the written and I feel as though all that energy spent writing it by hand didn’t amount to much. So I tend to freewrite about what I want to say and how I’m feeling, and then I type the draft. I keep the notebook with me to explore my thoughts as I type up a draft. I also make lists of the points I want to make or scenes in a story. I draw an underscore ______ and then my idea, and use the underscore to put a check mark when I use the idea in a draft, or an X if it doesn’t prove useful.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Eh, I do that ‘check mark on the underscored points’ thing too! I don’t do the Xs though. All my unused words just go into my paper- or digital-graveyards.

      I love reading about your process. Handwritten notes really transcribe poorly to digital, don’t they? I’d have pages and pages of A4 paper filled, then realise it’s just 750 words on the computer, which is short for a blog post, lol. But I like it still.

      Anyway, always a treat having you here, Hetty!

      Like

  26. Undoing your pants to fart—that’s a good one, especially since I’d be undoing my pants a lot.🤣

    Thanks for sharing your process, Stuart. One of the fascinating elements of writing is learning how each of us gets from point A to point B. The realization that there is not one method that everyone should follow reminds me of education. That concept is freeing and allows us to navigate a course that works best for us. Real-life problem-solving is part of our daily lives, so trying non-traditional methods in writing makes perfect sense.

    Liked by 3 people

    • So true! Even myself as an individual, I have multiple ways of getting from point A to point B, and I don’t take the same path all the time. So things become much more nuanced once we take into account how differently we all approach writing. I love how you connect it to education. Thanks as always for the quality comment, Pete!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Oh yeah, I think mine looks neater because I know I can manipulate the words much easier on the computer. If you do everything purely longhand, then I can only imagine the scrawls and red ink that’ll litter the page :P

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Like

  27. Since I’ve messed up my right hand, I don’t hold a pencil or a pen the way I use to. Writing long hand is unbelievably painful unless it’s very short lived (down to a minute or two). I actually dread signing anything or filling out paperwork these days. What I rely on is my phone and my computer. I type notes first, I make a messy rough draft, if I have the time I want… I let that rough draft sit for a day or two and then I chisel away at it. I WISH I had an editor. I’m dyslexic so I miss so many typos it’s not even funny. Do you hire an editor for blog posts Stuart? Is that something that’s recommended? How would someone go about tackling that?

    Liked by 3 people

    • I actually don’t advise hiring an editor for blog posts, mostly because it should be where you hone your craft (displaying your warts and all). Heck, even the large companies don’t even care for editors. Where editors shine are in actual publishing, where the words themselves are the products.

      Of course, these are just my views. By the way, you’re doing a wonderful job already as-is. The blog posts you put up are very professional.

      Ah, having that injury must be crappy for sure. I still have one writing method I’ve yet to explore that may suit you: which is using a non-LCD tool like the Alphasmart. That’s pretty niche though.

      Always enjoy having you around, LaShelle!

      Like

      • Thanks for the compliment Stuart! I’m glad that it’s not advisable to hire anyone for a blog post. I try to let my posts sit for a day or two (or more) and go over them several times to be sure I didn’t miss anything. I ALWAYS find things I missed.

        The injury sucks for sure. It complicates my ability to write but I’ve seen several hand surgeons and even though my finger is bent at a weird angle, they don’t care to fix it 😅 so I’m just using it as it is 😬🥴.

        Thanks for the advice as always Stuart!! Love talking with you 🥰

        Liked by 1 person

  28. I keep a notebook for my blog posts. Before cracking open my tablet, I always take a few minutes to gather my thoughts and think about what I want to do, what’s the main point or purpose of the post that I want readers to take away, and what are the key messages. I jot down bullet points, and shape them into a rough outline. The actual writing, though, I do on my tablet. That works for me but maybe I will try handwriting sometime just for fun.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Using bullet points is such an underrated technique. It’s so much easier to craft the flow of a story using bullet points, because you don’t have the pressure of writing the final product from the get-go. Tablet writing is something I wouldn’t really attempt, so hats off to you! I have enough trouble trying to write on my phone, lol. I like the novelty of new methods though. Keeps things fresh. Great seeing you again, Michelle!

      Liked by 3 people

  29. I love how you crafted and chiseled this write Stuart like molding a sculpture from clay.. nicely done.
    I used to love to write in my diary but I can barely read my writing anymore.. Being a lefty makes it harder for some reason too.
    Now words and lingo in pics I can do.
    Thanks for the great post 💕

    Liked by 3 people

    • I used to be the same up until a few years back, when I decided to ‘repair’ my handwriting. I also still need to be mindful of my handwriting when drafting, because it can get out of control if I don’t concentrate. Anyway, thanks as always for stopping by, Cindy!

      Liked by 1 person

      • oh Good to know it’s repairable Stuart. I will need to practice,. Slowing down and mindful writing is all in a writers tool box. Love it.
        Always my pleasure my friend 💗

        Like

  30. Totally into long hand. Each sentence/paragraph (depending on the length, etc) is wrtten on an index card so I can easily reorder them until I’ve completed a “topic.” Which is then transfered to a journal. BTW, 52 pick up will make you cry.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Index cards are my final frontier. Have never gotten around to that for some reason. I’ve seen how Ryan Holiday uses his notecard system and wish I could do the same, but perhaps try that method on smaller projects first. And yay for longhand!

      Liked by 2 people

  31. I recently drafted a whole newsletter longhand — something I hadn’t done in a while — and I really enjoyed it. I made myself slow down and relax so my habitually illegible handwriting would be readable, and that was fun, too. I found a lot of the same benefits you mentioned, especially that I’m not so tempted to rewrite constantly during that first drafting process. (This is also why I turn off Grammarly sometimes.) Well-written post. Good advice!

    Liked by 4 people

    • It’s relaxing, isn’t it? It’s almost like you enter a different mindset when you don’t have the judging cursor blinking back at you.

      And yeah, I still do get that impulse to rewrite—in the form of crossing off words and such—but I know I’ll be able to do a much better job once I get on the computer, so I leave my sentences as-is. Such a liberating feeling. Thanks so much for sharing your processes. I love your comment!

      Like

  32. I do this too! I find it helps create a balance between speed and quality, as you say. I’m a very linear writer, so if I draft too quickly and leave things too unfinished, I don’t know probably what’s supposed to come next, as I haven’t given myself enough of a foundation to build on.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I function pretty linearly as well, but there are times when a change of pace really does help grow my craft. Just like how I’m not a ‘shitty first draft’er, but I’ve grown to use that method pretty regularly now. Interesting how our process evolves. Thanks for sharing yours!

      Like

  33. To be honest Stuart, if you need Google to inspire you, something has gone wrong horribly.

    I’ve been writing for almost two years now, and I have not needed to go down that road. Maybe once I hit the writer’s block one day, then I’ll eat my own words. But until then, I’ll believe that inspiration does not come by searching on the internet.

    (And by you, I don’t mean specifically you. Just you in general.)

    Liked by 4 people

    • Ha. I’m all about getting inspiration from anywhere, even Google. But then again, Google shouldn’t be the primary source. It’s nice to know that what I plan to write isn’t going to have a duplicate online though. Anyway, here’s to constantly being inspired!

      Liked by 2 people

  34. As a huge handwriting fan, I appreciate this post. I have written at least a few pages almost every day since I was a first-grade elementary school student. And I learned how to type a bit later than that in my life, and I’ve been typing since then, too.

    I primarily type my blog posts and reread them before hitting the publish button. However, putting pen to paper almost always wins when it comes to creating the most original sentences and remarkable pieces in the long run.

    And it works for some famous writers, too! Orhan Pamuk, a well-known author from my country, also uses pen and paper to write his novels. When asked about his writing habits, he says, “I am a handwriter, perhaps one of the last. I am a museum person and have all the habits of it. I have kept every single sheet of paper that I wrote on for the last 45 years.” I may not be a fab writer like him, but I’m an Orhan Pamuk in the making because I’ve been keeping all of my diaries, too 😂 Too bad there’s no museum that would exhibit them, and I wouldn’t want them to anyway because just like you, my diaries are riddled with words only I can understand 😛

    Long live handwriting!

    I wonder if you keep these notebooks you scribble on?

    Liked by 4 people

    • Oh yes. I’ve maintained a journalling habit for a few years, so even that is a problem to store. I’ve begun storing the A4 loose leaf paper I scribble on too. That can easily double if I kept my morning pages, but I discard those because I don’t want anybody reading that :P

      So I cannot fathom the mounds of paper Pamuk must have lying around. My only gripe about handwritten notes is storage and searchability.

      That’s part of the reason why I love plain text files on the computer. I can write years’ worth of daily notes and barely use 2MB.

      Always love your thoughtful comments, Bahanur. Thanks for stopping by!

      Liked by 2 people

  35. Stuart it’s as if you looked at how I write. I wasreading your post and just kept thinking ‘yup, I do that’. I know it does take longer, but I agree I need time to let my ideas grow and develop. I find that doesn’t happen when I type. Even if it’s work-related, I find that I need to start off longhand , even if I later convert to keyboard. I also find there’s something quite cathartic to writing rather than typing.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Definitely! I’m convinced the reason people say handwriting’s different from typing is because there’s so much time between your first word and the full-stop, and your sentence changes so many times in that period.

      Doesn’t happen for typing though—since I can type as fast as I think—as the sentence will come out just as it had appeared in my head.

      So yeah, there is a different rhythm to it. Glad that we’re similar, Brenda!

      Liked by 3 people

  36. Over time my handwriting has degenerated so much that I really only use pen and paper to put down bullet points. Plus writing long hand is so tiring after a while for us so used to modern tech and the fancy-schmancy keyboards at our fingertips. Plus I always fear that it takes so long to write longhand that I might lose my idea or train of thought! Still, I hear you and do appreciate the reminder that at times, we really do need to slow down to give a thought time to form. So writing instead of typing can be helpful. Thanks again for this post. I think I’ll revisit it again to remind me on days I forget and start to think I’m some keyboard warrior! LOL!! Thanks again Stu for your writing tips. Always a joy to drop in!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Ha I totally get that. It’s only a few years back that I decided to hone my handwriting one more, because it’s gotten so ugly from decades of neglect.

      And I can relate to feeling frustrated that you have so many ideas blazing in your head, only to be bottlenecked by your hand. I plan to learn shorthand because of this, just as an added tool in the arsenal, if I have the time, lol.

      Always good to see you here!

      Liked by 1 person

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