I lied in my last post

I said typing was faster than writing by hand.  Now I’m disagreeing with myself.

If I was taking dictation or copying out someone else’s words, typing would win every time, even though I never learnt to do it ‘properly’.  And when I type up my handwritten scribblings, it takes a lot less time than it took to scribble them in the first place.  (Maybe half as long, if today’s anything to go by.)

But there’s something about movement that makes ideas flow faster.

When I go for a walk, after about half an hour I suddenly have to keep stopping to note down all the random ideas that pop into my head.  And when my hand is moving across the page clutching a pen, somehow I feel more connected to whatever part of my brain it is that brings the ideas.  I may not be physically writing faster, but I’m able to produce more content, more quickly.

Writing by hand connects me to myself; using the computer has the danger of making me too connected to the rest of the world!

Don’t switch it on

pen and paperIt’s the only way to begin.

If I begin the day writing, I’m likely to continue writing.  If I  begin the day by switching on the computer (to use it as my writing tool), I’m likely to spend hours reading other people’s writing, responding to business emails and getting caught up in my other work.

So now, I don’t switch it on.

Yes, writing with a pen is slower than typing.  But writing something is better than writing nothing.

Yes, at some point I have to type up what I’ve written – assuming I decide to use it.  But that’s a great opportunity for editing, and I can do it later in the day when I’ve already done my most creative work and set myself on the writing track for the day.

I also find that once I’ve begun on paper, I’m somehow less easily distracted once I do migrate to the keyboard.

I’m biased, of course.  I’ve always loved pens and notebooks and look for any excuse to use them.  But this really does work, I promise – at least for me, and at least for this week.