I am an excellent typist. I mean I can zip around a keyboard like nobody’s business. This is all thanks to learning to type on a typewriter in high school. We had actual typing classes back then and I can type without once looking down at my fingers. Yep, I am pretty good at that.
However, when I want to write something where I need or want to dig deeper, whether it is a scene for my novel-in-progress or a note to be inserted in a birthday or thank you card, I always handwrite. Why? Because I believe that the few seconds that it takes to form letters gives my brain just enough extra time to consider more options and hopefully be slightly more original than I would be if I were typing.
Do I have evidence of this “creativity” factor from any scientific study? Well, let me go look and I’ll get right back with you…
My Google search says that a recent study covered in the Wall Street Journal suggests that “sequential finger movements [of handwriting] activated massive regions involved in thinking, language and working memory—the system for temporarily storing and managing information.” The keyboard does not require sequential finger movements since one is simply touching letters on the board.
All I can say is, “Yes, I absolutely know this from personal experience. Handwriting gives me just that extra think-time I need to express my thoughts in a more satisfying way.
Alas, did I type this blog post or handwrite it and then type it up? Well, I must admit that in the interest of getting to bed at a reasonable hour, I typed it. But for the record, if I am writing about something that is eluding me, I always handwrite it first, then transcribe it to the computer. I consistently have a better result. That includes my blog posts, by the way.
On that note, I must go. My eyes are literally closing while I write and my body is occasionally jerking as I fall off to sleep.
Sleep well, my friends. Happy writing, whatever your medium.