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Why I Prefer Handwriting Than Writing Straight To Keyboard

By Ruth Barringham

There’s always been a debate amongst writers as to whether it’s better to write by hand or type everything.

I used to always wonder the same thing and I’ve even written about this subject before because it’s such a popular topic.

Personally, I’ve always preferred handwriting. I love to sit with a pad and a pencil and write for ages, sometimes for hours. But I still kept reading articles on the handwriting V keyboard debate and it intrigued me. So I decided to try typing everything instead.

At first, although it felt strange to change the way I’d been working for years, it didn’t seem too bad because typing was something I was used to doing and I’m a fast touch typist.

The problem was that I wasn’t enjoying working this way and I felt much more resistance to sitting down and writing every day. Not only that, but while proof reading, I found more typos than usual which was strange because I was actually looking at the screen while I typed, whereas before, I was looking at my handwritten notes as I typed.

Also the whole idea of writing straight to keyboard was supposed to be a time-saver so that I could write more, but instead it wasn’t at all because I kept getting up and walking away because working this way I couldn’t concentrate for long so I soon realised that it didn’t suit me at all.

Also handwriting wasn’t as slow as I t thought because I’m much more productive with my pad and pencil because ideas flow more so I’m much more creative, plus, it’s easier to sit down and write because I enjoy working this way so can stick at it longer. And let’s face it, if we enjoy doing something then we’re more likely to do it because it’s only the things that don’t want to do that we procrastinate over.

Years ago I used to have a hand-held PalmOne PDA that I used to use all the time because it had a stylus and handwriting recognition software. It could even recognise cursive (running) writing and the more I used it, the easier it was to use, and it recognised my writing more.

I used that PDA to write just about everything. I’d take it with me everywhere and write on it and it would turn all my handwritten words into typed documents. Then all I had to do was plug it into my computer when I got home and transfer the documents over.

Sadly, the software on the PDA became outdated and I could no longer transfer files so I could no longer use it, and boy do I miss it. I wish someone would invent a new version of it.

But until they dog, I’ll carry on using my transportable pad and pencil because it works for me, helps with my creativity, keeps the ideas flowing and keeps me writing every day.

And you do whatever works for you.


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