There are several ways to get our words and ideas out into the universe. If you are a singer, that’s through music; an artist, it’s through paint or marble; a politician, your words and actions. If you are a writer, however, it’s through one of two mediums: handwriting or typing.
There are several reasons to do one, or the other, or even both. Though with the addition of wireless technology and the internet almost anywhere, handwriting and even cursive, are beginning to become obsolete.
I was lucky. I experienced most my childhood before the big influx of technology, and most of my early writing days were with a pen or pencil and blue lined binder paper. It wasn’t until my teen years that I even had a personal computer. I can still think back to when I did some of my school assignments that required typing at my kitchen table on an electric typewriter from the early 80s. If I hadn’t had that personal computer, I would probably still be using that ancient monster.
I am still lucky. I have loads of technology, and several ways to stay connected, several ways to get my words on the page whether through a keyboard on a touchscreen or writing each individual word on a blue lined page. I am lucky to have that choice, to choose how I want to write it and how much work I want to put into it. I’d like to think I’m not alone in that choice.
There are several choices out there, whether you handwrite in notebooks, or if you choose technology to get your words on a page. This isn’t going to be a post where I give you my best choices for writing utensils or programs, it’s not going to be a post where I try and persuade you that one is better than the other.
This is just a way to say that both are valid options.
I actually handwrite and type, depending on the project. If it is a project that requires multiple drafts, I usually handwrite the first draft, and then type subsequent drafts. I find that this helps because with handwriting there are less distractions. Usually when I type, I get distracted by the idea of checking my email, or my facebook, or my blog, but handwriting it’s a bit harder to get distracted.
When I work on second drafts or rewrites, then I type. It’s easier to read the words and determine what I was trying to say if it’s a relatively clean page, free of notes or doodles. It also keeps the page cleaner, rather than trying to look through the scribbles and determine my meaning.
It shocks me that people my age, and people even older, wonder why I handwrite a lot of the time. I understand that everyone has their smartphones and iPads and technology right at their fingertips, but at the moment, I don’t. I can’t always connect to the internet to write down my every thought, or feeling, so I handwrite it. I actually prefer it that way. That means I can go write outside without trying to see a screen in the bright sunlight, or I can go where there is no internet or service and still write.
I’m not saying that everyone should go back to handwriting, or that everyone should use technology. What I am saying is: Change it up. Don’t get caught up in one way or another. Disconnect from the mass of technology that is the internet and try writing a few words with a pen, or put down the pen and start typing a page or two. Change it up, especially if you’re stuck, because you never know what can happen.
In the end, it doesn’t matter how you do it, just as long as you keep writing.
How do you write your words?