First off, Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there!
Second, should you type or write by hand? Which one is best?
I think this is a question most of us have faced at some point. Depending on who you talk to, one or the other is more considered writing than the other. But is this true?
No. Both writing by hand and typing are valid forms of writing. The important fact is that you’re putting words down. Which one you use is up to your personal preference. Though there are pros and cons to both.
- Doesn’t require looking for a pen
- Save easily
- Backed up easily
- In one place
- Dependent on battery
- Internet is distracting
Keep in mind a lot of these advantages and disadvantages are based on a laptop. If you’re writing on a desktop computer, then the lists will change a bit.
Laptops are often associated with writing, along with coffee shops. There is something nice about being able to just type and see the words appear. Keeping track of word count is also easier to keep track of. That’s useful for word sprints. However, focusing on word count can be a bit nerve-wracking and take away from your flow. On some programs, it is possible to remove the word count tracker.
Having all your writing in one machine, where you just pick which file you want to work on, makes for such ease of use. There’s no running around trying to find one particular notebook or scrap of paper or having to worry about keeping track of your pens and whether or not they actually have ink. Many laptops also have a backlit keyboard. That way, if you’re in a pitch-black room, you can still write with ease.
Writing by Hand
- Doesn’t need batteries,
- No internet on the page
- Pen and paper are easy to lose
- It’s lost, and it’s all gone
- Don’t know how much you wrote
- Ink can be messy and get everywhere
- The words have to be transcribed onto the computer
Writing by hand has definitely been around longer than typing. While computers were invented in the last century, archeologists are still discovering ancient artifacts from thousands of years ago with writing on them. Granted, there were carved, rather than inked. But pictures of the same time depict writing on parchment. This little tangent is just to say that by hand is a tried and true method. It can be done anywhere at any time without having to worry about batteries or charging cables.
There’s a not very often talked about aspect of writing by hand, and that’s pace. Now, I’m not talking about the speed between typing and writing. I’m talking about the pacing in your mind as you transfer the words. Often typing encourages us to go as fast as possible, getting as many words written in as short among of time as possible. I don’t know about you, but that can get exhausting. Instead, writing by hand has us go much slower.
A few people I’ve talked to, who have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, having staid that writing by hand is easier for them because it lets them move at their pace. Sometimes a calming writing session is for the best.
For me personally, I use both a laptop and paper and pen. Initially, I was exclusively typing my stories. After years of writing by hand in high-school and having finger and hand pain. As a result, typing seemed the only way. However, after watching a vlog from Nadine Brandes about how she drafts her stories, I bought a fountain pen. You can watch the video here where she talked about it.
I’ve got to say, that is the smoothest pen I have ever used in my life. There’s no more hand pain, and writing by hand is so much more relaxing to me.
Back to our question at the beginning of this article: which is best?
The answer is that it depends on what you’re trying to do and what you need. Each of us is different and is trying to do different things. So, based on the pros and cons of each, which is best for you?
How do you prefer to write?