Writing by Hand: A Dying Art

By February 15, 2013Writing about Writing

Short of between the walls of the UCWbL, whenever I mention that my writing process includes first writing out an outline, a list of quotes/research in general, and a first draft by hand, I get laughed at.

“You don’t just sit down at your computer and do it all in one step? Why?”

Well, for starters, my computer is full of distractions. Even before opening the World Wide Web, I run the risk of staring at my Derrick Rose background, listening to the latest Justin Timberlake hit on iTunes, or even opening up iChat to laugh over old chat logs with my best friends. And you know as soon as I click on that Mozilla Firefox icon, it is over. Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr… the possibilities are endless.

But beyond that, I like the feel of a pen or pencil in my hand, and paper under my wrist. I like scratching out unsuitable word choices, and putting question marks next to suspect sentences. And I like being able to reread a paragraph multiple times without my eyes glazing over and my head starting to ache.

However, the art of writing by hand is not just dying in the academic field. When is the last time you have jotted down a “to-do” list? Or left your mom a suggestion via post-it? Or drafted up a love letter? Yeah… that’s what I thought. In this day and age, it is way easier to remind yourself to finish your reading by way of an electronic reminder, text your mother what you want for your birthday, and email your significant other sweet words.

Well, I have a notepad on my coffee table, complete with a pen laying across it. I ever so often leave page-long notes for my mom in her kitchen. And I even just recently bought a Valentine’s Day card! If this makes me weird, so be it. But I would rather be the last of a dying breed than too far gone.