Why Writing is Better in Longhand

One of my favorite topics: the benefits of writing in longhand.
I write in spiral notebooks. They must be college-ruled, however. Not only do I love the tactile sense of the pen making letters on the page, I love being able to scribble notes and reminders and questions in the margins. An added bonus: you get an extra edit when you keyboard what you’ve written. When you have to type something, you find it much easier to ask, “Do I really need this?”
Hardest thing has been writing instruments. I hate throwing away whole pens or even refills when the ink is gone. I used to use Schaeffer cartridge pens, but the cartridges got hard to find, and I still had to throw them away. Now I’m using a refillable fountain pen, and really liking it. (You can get a “fine point” by turning a medium nib upside down.)
And writing more slowly gives ideas time to begin to build ahead of me as I write, so that when I get there, they’re just waiting to spill onto the page!
Anyone else write this way?

Gavin Zanker


Yesterday, unable to face the monster word document of my second draft lurking away in my hard drive, I pulled out a notepad and started scribbling. An hour later, I found I’d rewritten an entire chapter of my book from scratch. It had been so long since I’d written anything more than post-its and quick notes that I had entirely forgotten the benefits of writing longhand.

It’s interesting to think that every author until recent times has written out their work by hand. The computer screen has only existed for a relatively short amount of time. In fact, many writers still make the decision to write longhand in favour of using a computer. Quentin Tarantino said as much in an interview with Reuters a few years ago.

‘My ritual is, I never use a typewriter or computer. I just write it all by hand. It’s a ceremony. I go to…

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2 responses to “Why Writing is Better in Longhand

  1. I agree that the extra edit when you copy over the work is a nice extra – it’s a painless way to sneak in another quality pass on your writing. Thanks for reblogging, glad you liked the article.


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