Handwriting or Typing?



It’s National Handwriting Day and that brings a question into my mind.  When it comes to writing, paper or computer?


Both have their advantages and disadvantages.


Computer writing can instantly correct misspelled words or point out errors in your writing. But sometimes that can be a hindrance as much as a help. Going back to edit one error can break your flow and turn your day of writing into a day of editing. With a computer sure you can research a fact right away, but as anyone who has went to check one fact and wound up still on the Internet an hour later can attest to, that can be a good or bad thing.


Handwriting can provide a less distracted experience. No connection to the internet, just a pen and paper. It’s a  great pure and simple experience. But you can’t backup a notebook. Accidently forgetting your writing on a bus or dropping it in a big enough puddle can ruin a day’s work in seconds.


So, it’s incredibly tough to declare one method better than the other.


As a person that has both a ton of filled journals and a ton of Word documents I want to know, do you prefer to write in a notebook or do you prefer to type on a computer?



  1. I haven’t been handwriting except filling out forms for two decades. I exclusively use the computer for anything. And the internet is useful for looking things up when I have trouble with the descriptions. I have loads of writing related bookmarks I use for reference when writing. Find and replace is my friend. Word’s builtin thesaurus helps me avoid repetitions. The computer wins without question. And typing up the handwritten stuff is such a nightmarish chore! Even before the age of the internet I typed my short stories on my ancient Amstrad computer and printed them out to send them to contests and such.

    In the age of carpal tunnel, handwriting is just too painful for the computer generation.

  2. I do both. I free-write 750 words every day by hand, I write in journals by hand, I flesh out the beginnings of chapters and scenes by hand, and whenever I get stuck in the middle of typing a scene, I return to hand writing. There have been many studies linking the physical act of putting pen to paper with increased creativity and I can tell the difference immediately. When I switch to computer only, it takes longer to feel my way through a scene. But nothing can beat the speed and ease of typing on a computer. Basically, I use the physical hand writing for idea creation and emotional writing. Once I have the general idea of what I want to write, I type it.

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