René Penn

Follow my journey to becoming a published author

What Has Possessed Me to Write My Novel in Longhand?

3 Comments

What the heck possessed me to stop typing my novel and to start writing it longhand, instead? Especially since I have short hands with small fingers.

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A couple of years ago, I had dinner with bestselling author Michelle Gable. (Ok, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration. Actually, she was a keynote speaker at an event where me and about 250 other conference attendees were listening to her speech during dinner.) And she mentioned that she wrote her book, A Paris Apartment, by hand—like pen to paper, pencil to notebook. I was stunned; I may have even dropped my fork. She explained that:

  • It works better-on-the-go

It’s more discreet and portable than a laptop. Makes sense. Lugging around a 13″ laptop can be tiring and clunky. And a tablet isn’t very writer-friendly, as far as the keyboard goes.

I noodled this approach, and decided to carry around a pen and journal-sized notebook to continue my WIP. I have to say that I’ve been writing that way since. Here are some other reasons why:

  • I did it as a kid

When I was 10-years old, writing my first fiction stories, there were no computers. There was a typewriter that you used for special occasions, and you loathed when those occasions occurred, because the typewriter was a baffling piece of equipment that required lots of patience and white-out. I had no choice, really, but to write my stories by hand. girl-kids-training-school-159782There’s something nostalgic about carrying on the same creative process I enjoyed so much as a kid.

  • I get out of my own way

When I’m working on the computer, I can’t disconnect the editor-part of myself. That part is a cynical, judgmental, crotchety lady. And she can be a bit of a killjoy when I hit a good writing flow. The less of her while I’m in brain-dump mode, the better.

  • I wonder if it falls into the “working with your hands leads to better creativity” category

I’ve heard this theory. Working with your hands can spur and engage your imagination, because it stimulates the part of your brain that’s associated with creativity. I don’t know if writing longhand can be included in the category of working with your hands, but it’s definitely a better writing experience for me than typing on a keyboard. It’s as if there’s a clearer path from what my brain is thinking to what actually appears on the paper, as opposed to brain to keyboard to computer screen.

What about you? Have you tried writing your manuscript by hand?

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Author: René Penn

Writer. Aspiring Author. Blogger Newbie.

3 thoughts on “What Has Possessed Me to Write My Novel in Longhand?

  1. I’ve always thought it might be fun to write my novels by hand but then I remember how I felt in English when we were forced to write by hand and I remember the gods awful hand cramps that came from writing too long and it keeps me from trying to write by hand. I prefer a laptop, only because, being younger, I grew up writing on a laptop rather than in notebooks plus it’s faster and the sound of my fingers tapping on the keys gives me an odd comfort and spurs on my writing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree; writing on a laptop is definitely faster. As for hand cramps, when I write, it’s for short amounts of time. So I’ve been cramp-free. But if I get one, I’ll surely think of your comment and laugh. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Why Aspiring Authors Are Really MathWriterMeticians | René Penn

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