Thursday, March 25, 2010

Handwritten Vs. Typewritten



Lately I've been taking a notebook with me to work. People cancel their flute lessons all the time and I get a half hour here and there to write. What I've noticed is when I go back home and type my writing into the computer it's not as good as I thought it was on the paper. There are holes in the sentences, or the structure/flow is off. It's not as polished!

Why?



I've thought of a few possible reasons:

1. The computer screen makes my writing look more official, hence I'm more picky about what I put down there.

2. The notebook is more of a stream of consciousness, because that's what I used to use for my diaries growing up and I can't get the habit out of my head.

3. A note book feels more like a rough draft whereas a screen reminds me of a final draft.

Has any else noticed this? Do you type or handwrite your WIPs?

22 comments:

Lindsey Duncan said...

I only handwrite if there's absolutely no other way, and I do find it's not as polished.

Of course, some part of it is I'm a lefty, and if I use pencil - and I'm not comfortable writing fiction in pen - it smears terribly and leaves my hand black.

But honestly, I'm also just not that good at the mechanical act of handwriting, so the drudgery of it takes away from the fun of creating.

Aubrie said...

Very interesting, Lindsey. I'm glad I'm not alone :)

Southpaw said...

I mostly type. If I happen to be to and about and only have a notepad, I tend to write thoughts and phases to get it down so I don't forget.

Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Talli Roland said...

Definitely type. Typing all the way - even for poetry! For one thing, I've terrible handwriting. For another, I find it unnatural now and it seems so slow. I really like to look at the words, all neat and orderly on the page.

I think I've been brainwashed by Microsoft.

Dawn Hullender said...

Hey Aubrie, I understand your dilemma and you're right on all three accounts.

When you try writing in your notebook, do it as if your writing it on screen. I always do, but when I start typing it into the computer, I always change things around anyway.

Just think of your notebook writings as a first draft.

Carol Kilgore said...

I create on the screen. Give me paper, and I doodle. But I edit hard copy printouts. I don't know why that is. I can brainstorm on paper, write bits and pieces about scenes or characters, but not write.

DL Hammons said...

I outline in a notebook, but 100% of my writing is on the computer. That's an interesting dilemma though.

Cherie Reich said...

I've only written a couple stories by hand, but I always ended up changing them a bit when I typed them up. I suppose writing on paper does feel more like a rough draft and typing makes it more official. I do occasionally brainstorm by paper, though, especially if it is late at night and I don't want to get the laptop out.

Yvonne said...

I only handwrite in my journals. I type everything else on my laptop. Love Word! But I've noticed an odd thing. I can't really tell if it's "right" until I print it out and read it on paper. Boy, do I go through the paper...

(Here from Jemi's!)

Nicole Zoltack said...

I think the difference in polishness (lol, I just made up a word) comes from the fact that most people can type faster than they can write by hand. So we try to write my hand as fast as possible to keep up with our thoughts, and that's where the discrepancy comes in.

Personally, I love to write by hand but it takes so much longer and is more time consuming (because you have to type it eventually) so I normally just type everything. The only time I write by hand is when I'm stuck. For some reason, it helps to keep my creative wheels turning.

Theresa Milstein said...

When computers first came into widespread use, for college papers I'd write first and then type. Over time, I got used to typing first and now can't go back. I have a laptop that I take with me everywhere, so when I have free time I still am able to "write" that way.

sarahjayne smythe said...

I split down the middle I think. I do a lot of writing on scrap pieces of paper, napkins, my hand when things come to me. And I have pages of notes jammed into all kinds of places. And then I type and it all looks different. I like being able to copy and paste and rearrange on the computer.

Saumya said...

This is so true. I tend to handwrite poetry and dialogue, but type chapters because of the pace.

Great entry and lovely blog!

Jemi Fraser said...

I never hand write any more. It's all on the laptop. And it couldn't be because I'd lose the notebook or the paper! :)

You have a terrific blog here!

Shelley Sly said...

I'm the same way, the rare times that I do hand write, it is definitely not the same quality as my typed writing. You're right about the screen making our writing look more official. It has a different feel to it.

M. Gray said...

It's been so long since I've written on paper it's hard to say!! I did some writing on my first novel this way and I didn't really see a difference. Interesting, you work better on the computer.

Julie Dao said...

These are some great points! I find the same thing - my handwriting is much less formal and more stream of consciousness. I think that's why I plan on paper and do my actual writing on the computer.

laurel said...

I do a lot of freewriting in longhand in cheap spiral notebooks. I do my most free and loose thinking this way. What I get are truly rough drafts.

I do sometimes compose at the keyboard, but I find it hugely helpful to get over "blank-screen-itis" by first typing up freewriting, then transforming it into a smoother draft.

Kat Harris said...

This is an interesting post. I use a computer to write everything.

My thoughts come too fast and too sporadic to handwrite everything.

luxzakari said...

Writing by hand is difficult because I like to hop around -- sometimes I'll write chapter nineteen before chapter one! But sometimes when I'm writing by hand, I find it turns out somewhat artier. Curiouser and curiouser!

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