Writing Longhanded

PSM_V44_D100_Front_view_of_proper_and_improper_writing_posturesWhen I was in high school, I was accepted into an arts program which focused on creative writing. We each had a computer to work on and I can remember creating poems and short stories directly on it. Perhaps it was because I was young and had a more active imagination, but I can’t seem to do that anymore. If I write creatively, it must be done in longhand first. Now that I think back, some of my better stuff from that time (if any of it was good at all) was done when I happened to be writing in longhand.

There is something about a clean sheet of paper and a smooth flowing pen (though one day I’d like to try quill and ink just for fun) that really gets my creativity going. When ideas come more slowly, I start focusing on my handwriting itself, trying to make it neater. Eventually, the thoughts come more rapidly and my penmanship falls to the wayside again. I wonder if that’s the way it is for those of the illustrative arts. When they’re not sure what image comes next, do they focus more on technique during their current creation?

Maybe that’s a bad comparison. I’m lucky if I can draw a decent stick figure.

I know some of you more practical people out there (such as my dear hubby) are saying, “What a slow, inefficient way to write. Just get it done so it can be published already!” Or maybe that’s the practical voice in my own head really that sometimes gets jealous of other authors who have 20 plus books under their belts while I struggle to finish my second.

I suppose there’s no good explanation as to why it would be slower to type my work directly on the screen. It’s just the way it is for me for whatever reason.

I remember my first week of teaching 10th and 11th grade English and being floored that cursive was no longer taught in schools. At the time, I was frustrated that I had to retrain myself to print regularly. Now, I feel kind of sad for today’s students. I don’t think I could be as creative if I could only print all the time. Writing in cursive is faster and more efficient for creativity. Perhaps there are scores of children and young adults who have untapped creative ability simply because they were never taught to write in script.

Do you find any specific method of writing to yield better results than another? What are your favorite ways to write?


6 thoughts on “Writing Longhanded

  1. I do mourn the loss of cursive writing in this generation. Because students are typing more than writing, they resort to print the few times pencil does come into contact with paper. One day cursive may be viewed as a lost art form – such as calligraphy.

  2. I usually write on my computer. I find, however, that when I am having some serious writers block longhand can sometimes do the trick for me. I just pull out my notebook and write, not caring what it’s about or if it is part of any other projects I am working on.

    1. Ash, are you talking about free-association writing? I always find that to be an excellent exercise when I’m stuck too. It’s a great way to clear your head. šŸ˜€

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