I wrote a post once in which I briefly describe–at least for my first draft–my preference for writing by hand over typing. Over and over again, “try writing by hand” is my go to advice for people. It’s kinda my cure-all.
I have writer’s block.
Try writing by hand.
I’m not sure how to end my story.
Write by hand, either making notes, or writing out that part of the story.
I don’t feel good.
Write about it. By hand.
An article from Mental Floss lists 4 reasons:
But this is just a starter list. The truth is, writing by hand engages the brain in a way that typing on a computer simply can’t.
An article in Psychology Today tells us, “The brain’s “reading circuit” of linked regions that are activated during reading was activated during handwriting, but not during typing.” In other words, reading activates the same part of your brain as writing–but not typing.
Also, when you type, your computer likely underlines things in blue and red, letting you know you should change them. Then you start thinking too much about mechanics, and your style fades.
This came from an article in Forbes: “According to a study performed at the Indiana University, the mere action of writing by hand unleashes creativity not easily accessed in any other way. And high-tech magnetic resonance imaging has indeed shown that low-tech writing by hand increases neural activity in certain sections of the brain, much like meditation.” It went on to say, “Mindful writing rests the brain, potentially sparking creativity….”
But writing by hand is even more magical than I realized. (And I thought it was pretty damn awesome already.)
I was upset the other day. Like, having an imaginary argument out loud, letting out all the mean shit I was thinking. Then I decided to write about it, journal style. What I found was that by the third sentence, my thinking had become clear, the ridiculousness of how angry I was had become clear, and before I even finished the first paragraph, I wasn’t mad anymore. (But I had a good idea for a blog post…)
An article from the University of Rochester Medical School website says that journaling can help “manage anxiety, reduce stress, [and] cope with depression” by “helping you prioritize problems, fears, and concerns; tracking any symptoms day-to-day so that you can recognize triggers and learn ways to better control them; [and] providing an opportunity for positive self-talk and identifying negative thoughts and behaviors.”
An article from Cambridge University says that writing, over time, may even improve immune function.
That’s it. That’s all I got. Catch ya next time. Take care!
Christopher Tallon writes, podcasts, and…wait a second. Are you actually reading this? High five!