The Benefits of Writing By Hand


I’ve heard many fellow writers laud the benefits of writing by hand, but I had never really given it much thought. I mean, really, it’s so convenient to type, and writing by hand seemed so old-school.

But then this year’s NaNoWriMo rolled around, and I found myself without access to a computer, but wanting to write and get my word count in for the day. So I wrote several decent sized chunks by hand (1500+ words). And I discovered why all these writers talk about how great it is to write by hand.

So today, I wanted to share some of the benefits I got from writing by hand.

1. The slower pace gives you time to think about where you’re going next. I found that when I had to slow down a little bit to write, I was able to think about “where am I going with this?” versus just typing out the words in a frenzy.

2. The change of pace gives you a fresh outlook on your WIP. I think this was also because of the slower pace, but I was able to think about my WIP in new ways and I actually had a couple of “aha moments”. I figured out exactly what I needed to do with certain pieces of my manuscript.

3. It’s exciting. Probably because of the first two reasons, I found this venture exciting. It gave me back some passion for my manuscript and I just wanted to keep writing. I couldn’t wait to discover what would happen next!

4. You can do it anywhere. Handwriting is, of course, the original way novels were written. All our eighteenth and nineteenth century idols wrote their great novels by hand. And all you need is a writing utensil and paper. πŸ™‚

So if you’re looking for a change of pace, maybe this is your answer. Try handwriting a couple of pages and see what it does for you.


This post is part of the #authortoolboxbloghop hosted by Raimey Gallant. To check out all the participating blogs, or to join in the fun goΒ here.

What about you? Have you ever given handwriting a try? How did you like it?


14 thoughts on “The Benefits of Writing By Hand”

  1. I should probably do this way more often since my handwriting has definitely gone to the pits from lack of practice. I always type. That being said I have done a few handwriting sessions over the years and have definitely noticed some benefits to it. Great post!

  2. I too used to be one who thought writing by hand was a waste of time, when you’d have to type it anyway. However, as I was revising my debut novel, I found myself out with my kids a lot and the notebook was my best friend. I found that typing up what I wrote helped the typing process go much smoother too and progressed the story even more. Great post!

  3. I really like writing by hand! One of my WIPs on the back-burner at the moment is being written by hand. Even when my hand cramps up, I figure it gives me more time to think about what to write next haha!

  4. It’s been a while since I wrote anything other than notes by hand, but your post reminded me of one other benefit: you can think through what you’ve written and edit it when you transcribe it into the computer. And I see Sarah has the same tip!

  5. You make some great points here. One of the things that deters me from this (just me personally, because I can see how this works!) is that I dislike reading my own handwriting. It’s really a sight to behold. πŸ™‚ Great post, Charity!

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