As a child, I was adamant about writing on paper. I loved the smell of the paper, the feel of the pencil in my hand, the permanent lead mark on my index finger. The writing was visceral.
Today, I write for speed and so a computer is much more useful. And yet all my activities have moved to the computer and phone so that I spend most of my working hours in front of a screen.
If you want that physical feeling back, remember that you can choose to incorporate handwriting into your note-taking, plotting, and sketching.
David H. Baker, the Executive Director of WIMA said, “Though computers and e-mail play an important role in our lives, nothing will ever replace the sincerity and individualism expressed through the handwritten word.”
When you write on paper, you are less likely to take notes verbatim. You spend less time correcting and researching. You spend more time manipulating, summarizing, and synthesizing. Your voice will come out in your writing much more naturally.
“Handwriting is more connected to the movement of the heart.” -Natalie Goldberg
Natalie Goldberg’s style of teaching writing is similar to the way I was taught Tai Chi. “You never ‘get’ it”, “Keep your hand going”, “No matter what comes up, you put it on paper and keep going.” You can watch 10 minutes of Natalie dragging pencil over paper here.
Writing is meditation or an exercise in letting your words flow into paper.
I use One Note by Microsoft to take notes. I use Word to write stories. They don’t take up physical space, I keep files for years, and they are searchable. Regardless, I still use a small notebook every day to keep track of ideas, quotes, and inspiration. My blog posts start in the notebook. This is Why Every Writer Should Write By Hand: