117: The art of handwriting will make you a better writer.

Why I use a legal pad and a pencil to write.

In the age of the technological Revolution, everybody has a smartphone, tablet, or computer. They consume our lives but do they also fry our writing creativity?

In today’s episode, I talk about the art of handwriting, why it’s important, what steps you need to take, and why it will help you concentrate and write better.

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Most authors and writers that I know, use a computer to do all of their work. You can write faster on a computer and your words can flow onto the page without doing much thinking. What are we doing ourselves that the service by using a screen versus a legal pad?

I’ve written two books, hundreds of block posts, and I find it incredibly easy to use an electronic device. In fact, the show notes for this episode have been done on my tablet. But if you were to ask my mother how she prefers to do her writing, she would say, “I use a legal pad first before I transition to Microsoft Word.”

Over the course of the last two weeks, I’ve begun the switch to using a legal pad for my writing. In fact, all of my to-do list each week are now written on a legal pad. Why the change in handwriting and what it’s done for my book writing.

1. Handwriting allows you to slow down.

We live in a fast world. I call it the McDonald’s world. We want everything now, we want instant gratification, and we want to boast about how many words we’ve actually written.

However, writing by hand, on a legal pad, with a pencil, allows you to slow down and methodically think through every word, sentence, and syllable. I believe we would become better writers and communicators if we simply slow down and think through exactly what we want to say.

2. Writing my hand allows you to write quality work.

I’m a part of several online writing groups. A lot of the members boast about how many words they’ve written in a day. Some have braids to have written as many as 10,000 words in a day. My question to those people is this, what is the quality of the work you just finished?

I’ve learned that writing by hand allows me to not just slow down but allows me to articulate each word that I put to the paper. There will be days I only write 1,000 words, but I believe those 1,000 words have a higher quality and grammatical rate than those who simply push out the words and then brag how fast they can write.

3. A yellow legal pad allows you to think clearly without Aid of a blue light.

I have read multiple research studies done on the effects of blue light emitting from screens and our brains function. It’s said if we turn off the screens an hour before we go to bed we will sleep better and wake up more refreshed.

I have switched from reading on a Kindle at night to reading a physical book. I find it helps me relax and fall asleep sooner. This is also why I switched from doing a lot of writing on my computer first because I want to focus my attention on the words I’m putting on the page.

Writing on a legal pad or notebook will give you the freedom to write what’s on your heart before you write what’s in your head. I encourage you to sit down and begin trying your hand at the art of handwriting. I believe you’ll find you will produce higher-quality work, think clearly, and truly enjoy the immersive experience of writing your story.

Question: When’s the last time you’ve hand-written a book, blog post, or just a to-do list and how did you feel afterward? Leave a comment by clicking here!

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