Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Longhand versus Laptop

Up until now, I've written my novels solely via laptop. Sure, I've mapped out outlines, ideas, and characters in a notebook (okay, so I have notebooks everywhere, and it might be an addiction, but that's a different post), but the actual writing has taken place at my computer. Then I had something weird happen a few weeks ago.

(NOTE: This is not the actual pen used, but I am SO getting this pen one day!)

I had a client need to reschedule an appointment at work, which left me with an entire hour of writing time--except that my laptop was at home. For some reason, I pulled out my legal pad rather than the cute flowered notebooks I usually carry, and decided to write a chapter. The words flew onto the page, and when I typed them into the computer that night, I'd written almost 3K words...in an hour. For me, that's a lotta words, and even though I took shorthand in high school, I also took typing, so I couldn't believe how fast I was. The other strange part was that when I went back the next day to edit, it required way less editing than usual. In the next two days, I easily wrote two more chapters that way. I know there are studies out there about enhanced neural activity and increased memory capacity in writing versus typing, but I'd never tried it out for myself.

Summer with the kiddos has challenged my writing time, but my goal for this week is to get 10K words completed, because I'm excited to finish my new book...and because my agent is waiting patiently for it.;)

Have you tried writing in longhand versus typing? Anyone else notice a difference?

Oh, and Happy July 4th! The Wednesday Query Critique will be back next Wed. 7/11 on my personal blog.


  1. I actually have, but mine has been the opposite. For my main writing, I only type and do not write longhand. This because I can type as fast as I can think, but I can't write nearly quick enough for a first draft.

    However, if a particular scene is giving me issues, I always switch to notebook. Something about doing it longhand lets me "let it flow" when it's not working the way I wish.

    1. Yeah, if I hadn't taken short hand, I'd never write fast enough to keep up with my brain. And it's that "let it flow" part that I've found happens more with longhand for me. Thanks for commenting! :)

  2. I write a lot by longhand! Especially when I'm having trouble getting something down. I find I write better when I don't type. When I type I feel compelled to revise right then and there so I don't just keep writing! The issue because when I have to type everything I've hand written! Yikes that can take awhile.

    1. It does take a bit to type AND hand-write the same thing, but I still feel like I'm saving time overall due to less editing and more flow. I'll have to finish the book and then see how I did though! :)


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