We live in a technology-driven world where it's easy to sit down with a cup of coffee and a laptop and start writing away. But how many of my fellow writers out there still use a pen and paper to start at least some of your writing projects?
While I don't use a pen and paper for everything, I still rely a great deal on this "old-fashioned" process. An example was over the holidays. I wrote six blogs for two clients – all on paper – before I turned to my laptop to perfect them.
For me, writing by hand often makes the writing process easier. I can write down entire articles or just collect my thoughts, jot down an outline for what I intend to write on my laptop, and even do a little freewriting without worrying about typos or missing commas.
Here are five reasons why using a pen and paper first can be good for writers:
You'll never lose those great ideas
If you're not near your computer or phone to write something down, a notepad and pen conveniently placed in your car, at your bedside table, or on the kitchen counter serve the same purpose. Write down your thoughts before they vanish into the abyss.
Avoid blank computer screens
You hear all the time about how writers find themselves staring at a blank screen waiting for a hint of inspiration. You rarely hear people say the same thing about a blank piece of paper. Writing things down first helps you write before you're ready, says this 2014 article from Stanford University.
You can stay focused longer
I love my MacBook Air, but it's so easy to get distracted from writing by the Internet, email notifications, and friends' social media posts. Last time I checked, your favorite pen and notepad don't have Wi-Fi capability. Use that to your advantage.
Grammar rules don't exist
I'm constantly editing and focusing on grammar as I'm writing on my laptop, which can lead to lost ideas and overall train of thought. Using a pen and paper allows me to throw rules out the window and focus on getting my raw thoughts down on paper.
Writing by hand = happy brain
What did we do before there were computers and smartphones? We wrote everything down. I love technology, but writing things down forces us to use more of our brain while improving learning comprehension. It's also very calming.
Thanks for reading!
*STEVE GAMEL is the President & Owner of Edit This, LLC, a writing and editing services company located in Denton, TX. Steve handles anything involving the written word. Give him a call today to help give your business a clear voice.