Dear Writer,

Reconsider your hand. Reconsider writing by hand. There is a kind of story that comes from hand. Writing which is different from a tapping-on-a-keyboard-kind-of-story. For one thing, there is no delete button, making the experience more life like right away. You can’t delete the things you feel unsure about and because of this, the things you feel unsure about have a much better chance of being able to exist long enough to reveal themselves. And the physical activity of writing by hand involves many parts of the brain which are used in story making such as time, place, action, characters, relationships, and moving forward across an entire connected gesture. And that’s just what goes on when we write a single letter by hand.

Although word count goals may be harder to reach, your body will not feel as tired as it does after a day spent tapping buttons and staring at a lit screen, especially if you write a bit longer than you usually do.

Another thing to reconsider is reading over what you have written. If you can stand to wait 24 hours before you decide the fate of what you have written—either good or bad—you’re more likely to see that invisible thing that is invisible for the first few days in any new writing. We just can’t know what all is in a sentence until there are several sentences to follow it. Pages of writing need more pages in order to be known, chapters need more chapters. The 24 hour period will give you time to create more of the things the writing needs. 48 hours is even better, and a week is ideal…

Much more from artist and author Lynda Barry here.

One Response to “WRITING BY HAND”
  1. Good advice. I’ll have to try that. I’ve heard writing in cursive by hand involves both sides of the brain.

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