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Why I Hand Write Every Post


I do something different. My writing process is not the same writing process as the overwhelming majority. My way isn't necessarily better or worse than others', but I tend to think it is (that's why I do it my way), and that nearly everyone would be better off doing it this way.

Every post I publish on this blog, Text Request, Elite Daily, Tech.Co, or anywhere else is first drafted by hand. Typically, writers - especially bloggers - do all their work online. They type out a draft, backspacing to correct errors along the way. They edit for content. Then they edit for grammar and syntax. Then they give it a final once-over before publishing/scheduling.

This is more or less the average flow. It's a fine process! I used to do it myself. All in all, you may spend five to eight hours taking a really good piece through this process, which is relatively little for the value it could bring. But I don't like this process, and here's why.

Typing is very quick. It's too quick, in fact, for the content you're typing to stick in your working memory. There's a disconnect between your mind and your fingers so that the information doesn't register properly. Your thoughts become more fleeting and less intentional, leaving you less to work with in the moment, and more work to do to make up for it.

To type out an article quickly (and keep it coherent), your mind has to be firing on all cylinders. More often than not, even if focused, your mind isn't firing at its fastest. Typing is a great tool, but it becomes less efficient when used for the entire writing process. That's where the physical motion of handwriting comes in handy (pun intended).

Handwriting every post forces me to slow down. It enables me to concentrate fully every time I put pen to paper. Think of it like that one person you know who's always talking too fast in every direction. They've got to slow down before anything they say makes any sense. Writing's the same way.

Doing it by hand slows everything down and allows you to process your thoughts more thoroughly. This helps with word choice, phrasing, direction - everything. Handwriting my content allows that first draft to be so much better than if I were to type it.

Aside from handwriting's cathartic effect, and opportunity to break away from the digital world for a moment, writing by hand is far more efficient. It takes me an hour and a half to handwrite a draft, transfer ink to text, and add the finishing touches. That's far better than five to eight hours.

There are several reasons why I hand write everything first, including that I merely prefer to do so. But contrary to what seems obvious, handwriting a first draft is more efficient than typing one.