Writing By Hand

I could have written this post! Deborah Lee Luskin sounds like my cognitive sister. I agree with many of the comments as well. An article by a famous college writing scholar, Janet Emig, made the case in the 1980s that one reason writing works so well as a learning tool is that it involves mind, eye, and hand/body, giving information more ways to connect throughout our neural pathways–and this is doubly true for handwriting. Also, the effect generated by slowing down–time for incubation and connections to kick in–fuels creativity. And I’ll add one thing I realized when I had to retype the 500-page ms. of King of the Roses, before computers: transferring text from handwritten notebook to machine gives you the most amazing extra edit, especially for an over-writer like me; when I have to retype it, it’s a lot easier to ask, “Do I really need this?” So when you’re stuck or when you just want to see what flows out, try writing by hand. Make sure you’re in a nice place, with a pen or pencil that allows your hand and mind to flow. Enjoy!

Live to Write - Write to Live

writing by handWhen I don’t know what I want to say, when I’m stuck in an essay or a scene or a business letter, or even when I’ve just been away on vacation and need to settle back at my desk, I always rediscover my voice by writing by hand.

Handwriting is like a fingerprint, unique to each individual; my handwriting’s lousy.

My handwriting has deteriorated in direct proportion to my keyboarding skills, which are fierce – and fast. Writing by hand slows me down, which is a good way to find my way to the page.

Writing by hand grounds me. It keeps my eyes focused on my words and my mind trained on my ideas, holding them long enough to scrawl them in ink on narrow-lined paper. The problem is that the scrawl is sometimes quite hard to decipher – even for me, even within minutes of scribbling them down.

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Filed under writing novels

3 responses to “Writing By Hand

  1. Deborah Lee Luskin

    Sister! I’ve always wanted a sister!


  2. Deborah Lee Luskin

    Hi Bro! Thanks for the comment and kudos. All best. DLL


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