Writing Longhand

I know what you’re thinking. Where the heck have you been, Ketch? I know and I’m sorry, but this semester has been really hard on me. So many things happened like my tooth cracking and catching two long, miserable colds. I’m also really working hard in school and on my thesis. It’s just been a little overwhelming. I’ve hardly had time to even read! *head to desk*

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been trying to find inspiration for a blog post, but nothing came. I was either too tired or just too consumed by everything else. Finally, this morning, it hit me plan and simple.

Well, talk about your writing!” my mind clicked.

“But I haven’t typed anything up,” I countered as I thought. “I haven’t had the time.”

No, duh, Sherlock. But you have been writing! Talk about your journals.

Yep, you could see the light bulb over my head just suddenly clicked on and I had come up with today’s subject – Writing Longhand.

Computers are great tools: word, spell check, internet… They are truly amazing. But, they have their limitations. For the past several months, my only real time to work on Death’s Curse (DI3), or any other one of my WIP concepts, has been in locations were I don’t have access to my computer. So, what’s a girl got to do? She pulls out a journal and pen. I know it seems old fashion, but writing longhand has always been an important part of my writing process.

I know it doesn’t seem like it, depending how fast one writes, but writing longhand can save time. Unlike a computer, there are no distractions! You can’t get sucked into the internet to do research or get pulled back to another paragraph to edit or delete. It’s just you and your novel.

Also, if I relied on only my typing, I wouldn’t be far in my novel at all. Honestly! Take this semester for example. I have hardly been on my computer except to check e-mail or type up a paper for school. But with longhand writing alone, I have pretty much finished the end of DI3 (haven’t really worked on the beginning or middle yet, but I got the ending), got two chapters going for my book on the Lost Colony, and have outline another book. Trust me. I’m just surprise as you how far I’ve made it with just a pen and paper.

The reason I think writing longhand helps so much, even when I’m pressed for time, is because it’s a thinking process. I don’t just type away on my laptop. I develop and plot each thought and make connections. You see, writing longhand draws me into the book’s pages. It gives me a chance to become the characters, understand what is happening around them, and to know my surroundings.

Writing longhand is definitely an important part of my writing process. I have about thirty-three journals to prove it, all either brand new for future works, already written in and completed, or just tagged for a specific WIP. There are even some that are stuffed with stray pieces of paper and tons of sticky notes. I’m set for life.

But, what about you? Do you write in longhand? What have you learned about your writing style?

4 thoughts on “Writing Longhand

  1. Hi Kelsey! I recently wrote a short story by hand, and was pleasantly surprised with the results. The story came flying out of me and onto the page before I even had time to boot up my computer.

    I definitely think there’s a place for longhand writing even in these computer/iPad filled days. Like you mentioned, there’s something different about the connection between your hand on the pen on the page when compared to your fingers on keys that are connected to a computer.

    Great post!


  2. Hey Kelsey,
    On the upside, with pen and paper, you don’t run out of battery. You can take a journel anywhere. On the downside, sometimes it’s hard to readd my own writing.
    Thanks for the insights!


  3. Kelsey! I love this post!!!!!

    I’ve been writing longhand forever! I wrote my first book in longhand on the train to and from the city. And now I’m writing NaNoWriMo the same way. It’s great and it’s all thought process stuff that’s going on in the background as the words plop onto paper. With me, as I write, I have time to think through the story as I go. Like you said, I can make connections as I’m writing!

    Again, great post, Kelsey! Keep up the great work with school too!


  4. I prefer to write all first drafts by long hand; it keeps me initimately engaged with my characters and cuts out unnecessary distractions (it’s difficult enough to shut out the “editor” side of your brain without any help from Word).

    Carrie Golden 🙂


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