Pencils, Pens and Writing from the Heart: The Beauty of Low-tech Blogging

Pencils Pens and Writing from the Heart

This weekend my brother sent me a big box of stuff. We were cleaning our parents’ house and getting it ready to sell. Each object I pulled out had a rich story attached to it—and evoked a flood of memories. My 7th grade geography report card (do they even teach geography anymore?). My dad’s antique railroad pocket watch. The black-and-white photo of me at seven in my Annie Oakley cowgirl outfit, biting my thumbnail and squinting at the camera.

The next thing I saw was a letter, written in a first grader’s clumsy printing, on lined tablet paper. It said:

Kellyes letter

It was my six-year-old daughter’s love note to her grandma. And it got me thinking. Before desktop computers, before iPads, laptop computers, smart phones and Skype chats, there was the pen. Or in this case, the pencil. Writing was a flowing process. It went from the brain, to the arm, to the fingers and it spilled out on the paper, many times along with the emotions the writer was struggling to express.

But writing by hand is dying. We send emails. We type a blog post or story on the keyboard and save it. Schools in Washington state aren’t even required to teach cursive writing anymore. (I thought that when I started learning ‘cursive’ in third grade that I would have to learn to write using swear words, but that’s another story.)

How writing by hand makes me a more creative blogger 

The research shows, and I have discovered it myself, that writing by hand engages the brain. The hand has a unique connection to the brain when we are generating and expressing ideas. Writing with a pen forces us to execute sequential strokes, while typing on a keyboard just requires selecting a whole letter by striking a key. And pictures of the brain have shown that sequential finger movements activated the region for thinking, language, creativity and memory.

I have found that when I plan my posts in longhand first, that ideas come to me faster, I can express myself more freely and my thinking is more divergent.

How could writing by hand make you a more creative, interesting blogger? What if you set aside 15 minutes a day to give it a try? Here are a few ideas:

1. Doodle and draw.

If you are already a doodler, you are in great company. George Washington and Leonardo da Vinci were known to engage in scribbling words and pictures in random, spontaneous ways.  Doodling gives your brain a chance to process ideas. And according to Lynda Barry, in her book Picture This, doodling can help you express yourself in more creative ways.

2. Try three pages of writing in longhand every day.

As you know, I’m a big fan of morning pages, which comes from Julia Cameron’s amazing book The Artist’s Way. But you can write them anytime and anywhere. Just use pen and paper. Let your thoughts spill out, all wild and uncensored. You may be surprised at what comes out. You don’t have to use any of it (though you might), but it will free you up to write what’s really on your mind.

3. Brainstorm blog post ideas by mind mapping.

Mind mapping kicks your brain into the visual mode, which helps you produce ideas faster, as one concept or thought triggers another. Although there are now software programs for mind mapping, I still use the old-fashioned paper and pen method. There is just something about the process that gets my brain working in overdrive.

4. Keep a small notebook to jot down post ideas.

I keep a small spiral notebook in the car, one by my nightstand and one in my office. If you are ever stuck waiting somewhere (I do this a lot in the ferry lines waiting for the next boat to the island), you’ll be surprised at how jotting down an idea here and there can trigger even more interesting ideas.

5. Experiment with planning your post in longhand first.

Getting your rough draft ideas out on pen and paper can stimulate the right hemisphere of the brain, the area that is a rich source of emotion and creativity. I always grab a legal pad and a pen. My pen of preference is the uni-ball roller, which makes my writing free-flowing and fluid. It has the feeling of a fountain pen without all the mess. (Although I’m not afraid to pick up a fountain pen, either.)

What about you?

Do you still own pens?

Have you tried writing a post in longhand first?

Do you think writing by hand is a dying form?

Make sure you don’t miss a post.

84 Comments

  1. angee1 June 12, 2012 at 2:27 pm #

    I just think better with a pen in my hand, and start and end the day writing in paper notebooks.
     
    Re writing posts in longhand, absolutely. My process: mind map, outline, fast-write the post (all on paper), then write the post in my desktop blogging app. 
     
    Re still owning pens: I collect very fancy fountain pens, and love to write in purple, red and green inks, usually Herbin… makes me wonder what that says about me, but it helps me to be productive. Whatever works. 🙂

    Reply

    • JudyDunn June 13, 2012 at 7:05 am #

       @angee1 A writer after my own heart, you are. Though I know a computer would be faster, and I eventually have to get my piece of writing onto one, I, too, perform better initially when I have my pen in hand. 
       
      I know what you are saying about pens. We were at BlogWorld Expo in NYC last week and almost every booth had a high-tech giveaway: ear buds for audio, computer screen cleaners, etc. But the vendor that impressed me was the one who was giving away pens with thick, free-flowing ink. It was interesting to me that no one else was offering pens or notepads. But then this was a blogging/social media conference, so what was I supposed to expect? Collecting pens is one of my favorite things to do.  : )

      Reply

  2. sarahevanswriting June 12, 2012 at 2:46 pm #

    I am definitely going to try the mind-mapping thing. Great inspiration – thanks 🙂
     
    Sarah
    http://acatlikecuriosity.blogspot.co.uk

    Reply

    • JudyDunn June 13, 2012 at 7:07 am #

       @sarahevanswriting Let us know how it goes, Sarah. I started using mind mapping when I taught kids in a gifted program. It was fun to see how it freed up their minds to bring forth many, many new ideas. 

      Reply

  3. annedreshfield June 12, 2012 at 3:47 pm #

    Great post, Judy! I used to write everything longhand, but when I got to high school I started doing all of my creative writing on the computer. It was just faster to get my sentences and ideas down that way! I’ve been typing ever since, and now I find it hard to slow down and do creative writing by hand, unless it’s something like poetry. I usually find I come up with great word combinations and better ideas when I’m writing by hand, though. Guess I’ll have to force myself to do it more! I love Moleskin notebooks for all of my longhand writing. 🙂 

    Reply

    • JudyDunn June 13, 2012 at 7:12 am #

       @annedreshfield I think that the fact that schools aren’t focused on handwriting instruction anymore (even in elementary school) has a lot to do with it. And, except for the yearly letter to Santa Claus, kids aren’t getting practice. That is interesting that you find it easier to write in longhand when you are writing a poem. I wonder why that is. Perhaps it is the aesthetic beauty of poetry? The use of luscious, rich words? My best friend and teaching colleague was a master at calligraphy and THAT is some gorgeous writing. 

      Reply

      • annedreshfield June 13, 2012 at 10:18 am #

         @JudyDunn Oh, calligraphy is just to die for. I think writing poetry in longhand allows me to really focus on each word choice as I go, rather than trying to get an entire sentence down before it escapes me. Maybe I’m just an impatient writer! 😉 

        Reply

        • JudyDunn June 13, 2012 at 12:38 pm #

           @annedreshfield I think there is a very powerful economy of words in poetry. Every word must count and I’ll bet that is why you ponder each one. Some of the best memoirists and novelists I know are also very good poets and I think they brought that amazing skill with them when they started creating longer works. I was in a fireside chat/workshop at the Whidbey Island Writers’ Conference last March and the poet who was on the panel just blew me away. I walked away thinking, “I want to write my memoir with that kind of rich, multi-layered language.” 

          Reply

  4. TheJackB June 12, 2012 at 6:08 pm #

    I almost never write by hand. I doodle, but not much beyond that. My penmanship wasn’t good to begin with and now it is terrible.

    Reply

    • JudyDunn June 13, 2012 at 7:18 am #

       @TheJackB Haha. Are you saying you can’t even read your own handwriting anymore? Sometimes I think that people who don’t want to write in longhand use poor handwriting as an excuse. (I know that my husband Bob does.) You should give it a try.  : ) But doodling is good, too. 

      Reply

      • TheJackB June 14, 2012 at 10:37 am #

         @JudyDunn Bob is a very smart man and I would never argue with him about this.  😉
         
        Yep, my writing is pretty darn bad.

        Reply

  5. Di Mace June 12, 2012 at 8:41 pm #

    I really love writing long hand. Perhaps it’s a hangover from childhood when I used to spend HOURS writing my signature – which resulted in my fourth grade teacher scolding me and complaining to my parents that I had ‘far too mature handwriting for a child my age’. (mind you, she was also the one that used to chastise you if you didn’t have regulation undies on with – big sides – and It wasn’t a religious school 🙂 Back to topic….. yes, there’s a wonderful case for ‘slow-writing’, especially creatively. Although I type the vast majority of my work, longhand writing kicks my brain into another gear that just induces the creativity and different, lateral connections to be made.
    Besides… how else could I indulge my obsessive search for the ‘perfect pencilcase’ if I didn’t write long hand???

    Reply

    • JudyDunn June 13, 2012 at 7:25 am #

       @Di Mace | Word Swords Okay, Di. You can’t use the word “hangover” with Americans because we will think you were a child alcoholic.   : )
       
      Did you ever practice your signature in different styles when you were a kid? (Backhand, extra loopy, circles for dotting the ‘i’, etc.) I think even then I was a writer, practicing characters with different personalities. 
       
      Your fourth grade teacher checked your underwear? Now that would make an interesting scene in a book.   : )
       
      If I collected pencils, I would totally be into pencil cases. 

      Reply

  6. lindaw June 13, 2012 at 2:53 am #

    Good morning Judy!
     
    Couldn’t agree with you more on every point – especially concerns about schools not teaching children how to write properly. Although most of my work is on the computer, I make a point of writing a long letter to several friends each month. They are all too busy for lengthy phone calls and emails tend to be short/sweet, but make time to sit and read a real letter by snail mail. We all agree this is only second best to actually being together!

    Reply

    • JudyDunn June 13, 2012 at 7:33 am #

       @lindaw I think, to give the schools credit (at least the ones in my state), that the legislatures that passed the high-stakes testing have forced schools to focus on reading, math and science to the exclusion of everything else, including penmanship, the arts and humanities, creative thinking, etc. And then, when tools of technology were introduced, students spent more time on computers. Although, I’m reading that in the SAT tests that are important to college admission, the essay portions are written in longhand and if a reader/scorer can’t read a student’s writing they get a “0” and it is marked “illegible.” So it would seem that kids still need to know how to write. Puzzling.
       
      I love it that you still write letters in longhand. I think that is such a nice touch. 
       
       

      Reply

  7. Steven Hourston June 13, 2012 at 2:58 am #

    My eldest son Callum is learning to write and it’s brilliant to see his pride and sense of achievement as he gets better and better. You also see the concentration and obvious connection between hand and brain. 
     
    How special was your daughter’s handwritten note to her grandma – it’s a million times more valuable than an email.
     
    I’ve like to mind map ideas with pen and paper, write a draft on the computer and then sleep on it. My unconscious mind is a much better editor than my busy, multitasking conscious brain.

    Reply

    • JudyDunn June 13, 2012 at 7:41 am #

       @Steven Hourston Having been a first grade teacher, I share your joy in seeing a child’s shaky first letters (some of them backwards) progress to straight, nicely formed ones. Ah, it’s all coming back. I used to teach the “two fingers” between spaces method so their words wouldn’t be all cramped together on the line. 
       
      You know, that letter to grandma was longer, but I abbreviated it here. And, yes, the fact that my mom kept that letter from her granddaughter all those years speaks to how special it was to her. 
       
      I like the sleep on it advice. I don’t always have that luxury but when I do, I often wake up with ideas for changes that make the post better. Funny how the brain works. 

      Reply

  8. Yvonne Root June 13, 2012 at 6:42 am #

    Oh Judy,
    You’ve touched my heartstrings with this post. I frequently extol the benefits to be derived from allowing ideas to flow from mind to hand to eye to mind again.
    And, I still have a note written by my then 4 year old daughter. It reads:
     
    Mom, i luve yu so much. if yu wer not my mom i woud just die. luve Tonya
     
    And the handwriting is terrible. Who cares?

    Reply

    • JudyDunn June 13, 2012 at 7:45 am #

       @Yvonne Root That letter from your daughter is priceless. I can see why you wouldn’t want to throw that one away. Our kids just touch our hearts in a very deep place, don’t they? The fact that it isn’t perfect handwriting just adds to its charm.   : )

      Reply

      • Yvonne Root June 13, 2012 at 7:52 am #

         @JudyDunn Yes, Judy, charm is the perfect word.
         

        Reply

  9. RandyGreene June 13, 2012 at 6:49 am #

    You know, I actually just started writing my posts in long form (as in, I’ve done 1 and a half posts in long form so far) and I really like it!
     
    Like you said, there is just something about putting pen to paper and drawing out the curves of each letter. I also like having the ability to scratch something out if I don’t like it – not only does it feel appropriately aggressive when I’m not satisfied with it, but it lets me go back and review my edits along the way.

    Reply

    • JudyDunn June 13, 2012 at 7:47 am #

       @RandyGreene I like what you are saying about the ability to go back and review your edits. With a computer, I sometimes revise and think, “Wait. That other word WAS the right word. Now which word was it?” With hand edits, you can see the word that you crossed out that turned out to be the better one. : )

      Reply

  10. sophiesignin June 13, 2012 at 7:11 am #

    Love the post! What I absolutely also love is the pen and paper. I still do most of my writing in longhand. It feels right for me – the flow of my thoughts synchronized with the flow of my fingers. And although I fear that this form of writing is slowly dying, as long as there are people who feel the same way, it’ll continue to happen. Thanks for the beautiful thoughts!

    Reply

    • JudyDunn June 13, 2012 at 7:52 am #

       @sophiesignin It may be an urban legend, but I have read that the bestselling romance novelist Danielle Steele wrote her first books in longhand. I can’t imagine writing a piece of that length by hand but, as I understand, she would write in a notebook, in the car, waiting for her kids to get out of school. I’m in the first draft stage of my memoir, but I’m writing it on the computer. For blog posts and other shorter pieces, though, it’s pen and paper that I start with. 

      Reply

  11. PatriciaYagerDelagrange June 13, 2012 at 8:00 am #

    Yes, writing using a pen/pencil and paper seems to be a dying form.  Yet, people are saying that about books and I don’t believe THAT either.  I don’t write letters any more.  I send an e-mail or a message via Facebook.  I do have tablets of paper that I use to write notes on, but I do my book writing on my Mac.  The only time I really “use” the mail system is for birthday cards and bills.  I’ve even sent out e-cards for birthdays when in a pinch.
    Patti

    Reply

    • JudyDunn June 13, 2012 at 8:25 am #

       @PatriciaYagerDelagrange Well, now, it’s the old digital vs print books discussion. Frankly, although I cannot predict the future, I think there will remain a place for both. I do think that the handwritten letter is going the way of the dinosaur, though. The reason I continued was that my parents didn’t have a computer and wouldn’t have understood the concept of email if they had. I still remember trying to explain a fax machine to them. And they called my voice mail my “answering service.” So, come to think of it, maybe it’s in my genes.   : )

      Reply

      • Sarah Payne June 13, 2012 at 3:00 pm #

         @JudyDunn While I love the convenience of email, letters are so much more personal. Getting a birthday email is nowhere near as special as a real card. It just gets buried in the inbox—forgotten, never to be looked at again.
         
        As much as I like technology, I would be sad to see the handwritten letter go.

        Reply

        • JudyDunn June 13, 2012 at 4:16 pm #

           @Sarah Payne Don’t know what happened to your other comment. Trying to get it to show. (Shows on the backend, in my administrative panel, but not here. Trying to fix that.)
           
          I feel the same way about “real” cards compared to e-cards. Maybe it’s knowing that someone had to take the time to actually buy a card, address the envelope, get a stamp and mail the darn thing. That makes me sound rather high-maintenance, doesn’t it?  : )
           
          Thanks for the perceptive comment, Sarah. 

          Reply

        • Sarah Payne June 13, 2012 at 4:39 pm #

           @JudyDunn That’s strange. I did delete my first comment right after I posted it because I noticed a stupid grammar mistake, but then I posted it again. It shows up for me.
           
          Yes, that’s right! With emails, it’s so easy—you just type a fluffy message and click “send”. And while you’re at it, you may as well send the same email to anyone else you know! So impersonal!

          Reply

  12. PatriciaYagerDelagrange June 13, 2012 at 8:00 am #

    Yes, writing using a pen/pencil and paper seems to be a dying form.  Yet, people are saying that about books and I don’t believe THAT either.  I don’t write letters any more.  I send an e-mail or a message via Facebook.  I do have tablets of paper that I use to write notes on, but I do my book writing on my Mac.  The only time I really “use” the mail system is for birthday cards and bills.  I’ve even sent out e-cards for birthdays when in a pinch.
    Patti

    Reply

  13. bdorman264 June 13, 2012 at 8:45 am #

    Hey old school, is that uni-ball, uni-brow, or uni-bomber? Just checkin’………..:). 
     
    I am a doodler and do keep pads around; I have done some posts in long hand, but not enough.
     
    I hear ya and think you are ‘right on’ about how it can help the thought process and creativity. Way before my blog I used to be a ‘letter’ writer and enjoyed; I think some of that joy has carried over to by blog.

    Reply

    • JudyDunn June 13, 2012 at 9:35 am #

       @bdorman264 Haha. We could get a lot more mileage out of the “uni-” reference, couldn’t we?
       
      I LOVE doodling. If you are old enough to know what Pee Chee folders were, I scribbled the heck out of the covers of them. Also kept the stupid, smarmy, melodramatic  short stories I wrote in high school in them. Letter writing can certainly translate to blog posts, especially when you write one as if you are talking to a friend, as you do.  : )

      Reply

  14. KDillabough June 13, 2012 at 9:05 am #

    Oh my goodness, this is my life. My writing is done longhand, in lined books with beautiful covers. I doodle, draw, mindmap, sketch and paint regularly. I have many favourite pens. I send handwritten notes. They say that keyboarding is more a left brain activity, and handwriting a right brain activity: logical linear vs. creative flowing, and that’s why handwriting stimulates those creative juices. Right or wrong, it works for me. Always has. Here’s to cursive writing, and all the grade school teachers I had who instilled in me the love of writing, the English language, grammar and punctuation, and the sheer pleasure I derive from feeling my thoughts turn into words and pictures. Cheers! Kaarina

    Reply

    • JudyDunn June 13, 2012 at 9:38 am #

       @KDillabough I know. They say buy cheap old spiral notebooks for writing but the ones with art on the cover really speak to me. I used to paint with water colors, but haven’t done it lately. Come to think of it, I miss it.
       
      You are right about keyboarding being left brain and handwriting right. And, yes. To the teachers!

      Reply

      • rdopping June 14, 2012 at 4:03 pm #

        @JudyDunn @KDillabough Really? I’m a pretty right brain kinda guy and I don’t mind typing. Maybe I am just unique. Ha…:-)

        Reply

        • JudyDunn June 14, 2012 at 6:30 pm #

           @rdopping  @JudyDunn  @KDillabough Ralph, Maybe you are ambidextrous.  : )

          Reply

        • KDillabough June 15, 2012 at 7:55 am #

           @rdopping  @JudyDunn  @KDillabough It’s not about “minding” it: it’s just that the actual act of keyboarding itself is more a left brain activity, while writing (drawing/painting/doodling) is more right brain, because of the way the messages flow from brain to body.

          Reply

        • JudyDunn June 15, 2012 at 8:02 am #

           @KDillabough  @rdopping Well put, Kaarina. I had a lot of brain research studies when completing my Master’s in Education and the two hemispheres are decidedly different in terms of thinking and processing information. Fascinating stuff. 

          Reply

        • KDillabough June 16, 2012 at 6:37 am #

           @JudyDunn  @rdopping Yes indeed.

          Reply

        • rdopping June 16, 2012 at 6:53 am #

           @KDillabough  @JudyDunn Got it! Makes sense. I always equate right brain with the generation of ideas and never really thought about how they get to the medium. I mentioned above to Judy that I love to use photoshop. Kinda akin to typing vs writing by hand. Dunno, guess i may be more left brain than I think…….

          Reply

  15. struggletovictory June 13, 2012 at 2:46 pm #

    Just want to “Amen” this post. I have an idea book where I do much of my outlining and idea generating. Still do some electronically out of necessity at times, but the idea part of writing definitely happens more often and more effectively when I hand write it first. And, I believe I do this for all of the same reasons you wrote about. Enjoyed this post for sure!

    Reply

    • JudyDunn June 13, 2012 at 4:12 pm #

       @struggletovictory Yes. It’s the “idea part” that comes more easily in longhand. Because that’s the creative part and that’s the right brain kicking in. Makes perfect sense. Thanks for the comment.  : )

      Reply

  16. Sarah Payne June 13, 2012 at 2:52 pm #

    Hey Judy,
     
    First off, I just want to say that I love your blog and your witty writing. I can’t get enough of it.
     
    When I was younger (not that I’m old, LOL), I went through a drawing fad. I drew all—the—time. Then, one day, I decided I HATED drawing. I’ve made a small recovery in my hatred for drawing and I doodle for my blog posts, and occasionally to design blog templates (it helps me visualize them), but I’ve found my creativity lies in writing.
     
    I often write my blog ideas down on paper, usually because I’m away from the computer when they come to me. There’s something satisfying about sloppily scribbling on a notepad. But if I’m going to be doing a lot of writing (such as a blog post), I prefer to type it. I think my preference is due to the fact that I type fast and I get too impatient with my slow fingers when I write with a pencil (my brain goes faster than my fingers). I like the feeling of buttons beneath my fingers. It’s so gratifying. I know, I’m weird.
     
    But I do agree with you—there’s something special about pen and paper. Computers have changed the world. It takes a lot of smart people to make them, but the rest of us just get more stupid. We rely upon Google for things we don’t know, and then forget what we’ve learned the next day. We sit in front of our computers for hours, fill our brains with internet nonsense, and can’t do anything for more than five minutes without wondering who’s posting what on what social network. Of course, I realize not everyone is like that, but a lot of people are.
     
    Computers and the internet has made so many things possible, but it can also be a waste of time.
     
    Rant over. 🙂

    Reply

  17. Sarah Payne June 13, 2012 at 2:55 pm #

    Hey Judy,
     
    First off, I just want to say that I love your blog and your witty writing. I can’t get enough of it.
     
    When I was younger (not that I’m old, LOL), I went through a drawing fad. I drew all—the—time. Then, one day, I decided I HATED drawing. I’ve made a small recovery in my hatred for drawing and I doodle for my blog posts, and occasionally to design blog templates (it helps me visualize them), but I’ve found my creativity lies in writing.
     
    I often write my blog ideas down on paper, usually because I’m away from the computer when they come to me. There’s something satisfying about sloppily scribbling on a notepad. But if I’m going to be doing a lot of writing (such as a blog post), I prefer to type it. I think my preference is due to the fact that I type fast and I get too impatient with my slow fingers when I write with a pencil (my brain goes faster than my fingers). I like the feeling of buttons beneath my fingers. It’s so gratifying. I know, I’m weird.
     
    But I do agree with you—there’s something special about pen and paper. Computers have changed the world. It takes a lot of smart people to make them, but the rest of us just get more stupid. We rely upon Google for things we don’t know, and then forget what we’ve learned the next day. We sit in front of our computers for hours, fill our brains with internet nonsense, and can’t do anything for more than five minutes without wondering who’s posting what on what social network. Of course, I realize not everyone is like that, but a lot of people are.
     
    Computers have made so many things possible, but they can also be a waste of time.
     
    Rant over. 🙂

    Reply

    • JudyDunn June 14, 2012 at 1:18 pm #

       @Sarah Payne Hey, the wonderful folks at Livefyre worked their magic and got your fine comment to show. Don’t know what was up with that.
       
      Thank you for the compliment. Such an honor to hear. 
       
      I get the brain moves faster than the fingers thing. Sometimes I just jot down words and phrases that help me remember the ideas when I write my post. Sort of like an outline. Computers have indeed changed our lives. But as I research for my memoir (now what did that TV we had when I was a child look like? Or how hot was it that summer when I went to the World’s Fair?), Google can be immensely helpful. 
       
      Where I fall into the filling-my-brain-with-nonsense trap is with social media. After all, there are only so many quotes I can read and so many cute cat videos I can watch on Facebook.     : )

      Reply

  18. Caitlin Dundon June 13, 2012 at 4:52 pm #

    Sadly, I do think handwriting is a dying form – and I’m a calligrapher. I think what you wrote is so important. The connection to the brain and handwriting is so different then typing on a computer. That said, my last couple blogs have been all typed, I’ll have to rethink the handwriting in this case! But I do journal on a daily basis so perhaps the ideas start there and then the flow begins. Thank you.

    Reply

    • JudyDunn June 13, 2012 at 5:55 pm #

       @Caitlin Dundon You are a calligrapher? That is so cool! It is so good to hear from people who are willing to work in both modes. I admire your skill in calligraphy.   : )

      Reply

  19. fergusonsarah June 13, 2012 at 5:45 pm #

    Gosh.. She is so pretty and so sweet to her grandma.. I guess every mother will be so proud of her and for me, she is the most adorable daughter you can ever have..

    Reply

  20. GrandmaOnDeck June 14, 2012 at 5:43 am #

    Shocked to find out the schools here in my my county stopped teaching cursive writing. However I have noticed the younger generation print very nicely. I suppose either way is good as long as it is done by hand.Writing down things daily, journals or short blogs, helps build ones personality

    Reply

    • JudyDunn June 14, 2012 at 8:00 am #

       @GrandmaOnDeck Definitely, people still need to know at least how to print. Think of all those forms in doctor’s offices! I think that it doesn’t matter whether’s it’s print or cursive. For me, it just makes some types of writing, namely the creative kind, easier. I like to mix things up a little.  : )

      Reply

  21. MartinaMcGowan June 14, 2012 at 5:53 am #

    @DyamondPatlyek @CatsEyeWriter Good morning Dyamond. Thanks for the retweet

    Reply

  22. CatsEyeWriter June 14, 2012 at 6:26 am #

    @CorinneCR I appreciate the tweet on my post about low-tech blogging.

    Reply

  23. CatsEyeWriter June 14, 2012 at 6:31 am #

    @rdopping Thanks for the tweet on my Low-tech Blogging post. Haven’t talked in a while. How are things going?

    Reply

  24. TammyRedmon June 14, 2012 at 12:19 pm #

    I am such a fan of doodling and It’s nice to know I keep good company. Often with my clients I come to meetings with my flip chart in tow because I know that going from the small page, to the big page expands our minds. I have seen it time and time again. This week with a new clients we built a staircase to the 6 month goal for his business. At the end $1,000,000 was the goal and we could visually see the plan before we put all the piece together.
    Yes I still use pens, of all colors. And the Uniball is my favorite too! It just feels best in my left hand. I haven’t tried writing my posts out first, I do mind map them and I will try my hand at writing the next one out first. 

    Reply

    • JudyDunn June 14, 2012 at 12:57 pm #

       @TammyRedmon I have witnessed the creative magic when Tammy Redmon gets a magic marker and a great big sheet of white paper out. I remember that day you helped Bob and me brainstorm new ideas for our business.  : )
       
      And nice to hear that doodling is not becoming a lost art. Nice to see you here Tammy. I hear you are making some exciting changes to your business and your website. That’s very cool. 

      Reply

  25. rdopping June 14, 2012 at 4:01 pm #

    Funny. I use a pen every day to record conversations at work and to jot down thoughts for follow up but as soon as I start writing I default to my PC. I record ideas on my notepad on my smartphone. So much easier to translate later.

    Love to doodle though so I have to get back to that for sure. I have the new Samsung Note so now I can draw digitally too. Hmmm……

    Great ideas here. I must reduce my dependancy on digital.

    Reply

    • JudyDunn June 14, 2012 at 6:15 pm #

       @rdopping Great point you make about drawing digitally. I am totally dependent on computer and laptop myself. But the drawing, doodling and writing longhand seem to propel me to a different place. I need them both.   : )

      Reply

      • rdopping June 16, 2012 at 6:50 am #

         @JudyDunn Makes sense. Don`t get me wrong. When I was a kid (before PC`s, yes, I am THAT old, ha) I spent a ton of time drawing. I do miss that but i found a great tool that a load of fun that I get a ton of kicks outta. Photoshop. It is now my creative outlet but drawing and sketching still pulls at the heart srings occasionally.

        Reply

        • JudyDunn June 16, 2012 at 3:33 pm #

           @rdopping I, too, loved to draw. There was a TV show on Saturday mornings called “Learn to Draw.” And my parents got me a “Learn to Draw” set for Christmas one year. Something I had totally forgot. And yes, in  your line of work I suppose Photoshop comes in handy.  : )

          Reply

  26. TinaBarbour June 14, 2012 at 6:06 pm #

    I use pens and paper (notebooks) every day in my reporting job. I like the act of writing with a pen or pencil, but my handwriting becomes so messy, I have to try to deciper it later. I can’t write neatly for very long before I try to write faster and it gets unreadable to anyone but me. I don’t write a lot by hand in my other writing, but I do a lot of planning with pen and paper. I like that better than planning and outlining on the computer. Good post!

    Reply

    • JudyDunn June 14, 2012 at 6:21 pm #

       @TinaBarbour You know, I always thought, “What if no one can read my handwriting but me? So what? I’m writing it just for me anyway.”   : )
       
      The bulk of what I write is still written on the computer, but I love scribbling notes for ideas and am still jotting stuff down for my memoir on paper. 

      Reply

  27. TinaBarbour June 14, 2012 at 6:06 pm #

    *decipher

    Reply

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    Reply

  29. LauLau81 June 16, 2012 at 8:46 am #

    The connection to the brain and handwriting is so different then typing on a computer. Thanks for the usable post.

    Reply

  30. Colleen Stone June 17, 2012 at 11:49 am #

    Let’s hear it for pens, pencils and lots and lots of blank paper! (sorry trees). I can’t live without it. I also love my Kindle for the ability to have lots of books close at hand, but you can’t take notes in the margins.

    Reply

  31. Genevieve Ghostwriter June 18, 2012 at 7:56 pm #

    People tell me that I would save a load of time if I typed everything into the computer, without first writing it all out by hand. I write memoirs for my clients, and I write my own blog as well. However, I always supposed it was because I am from an older generation. I didn’t learn how to type until I was in my teens, and that was on an old Underwood that my mother had used in college. It was a far cry from a computer keyboard. Keys would get tangled, if you typed too quickly on it, and they were so heavy that my hands and fingers got tired typing on it, after an hour or so. As far as I was concerned, typing was one process, and writing was another. And that is the way it has been for me ever since.

    Reply

    • JudyDunn June 19, 2012 at 8:18 am #

       @Genevieve Ghostwriter Thanks for the thoughtful comment. I don’t think this necessarily equates to being ‘old school’ as much as it does which ways of writing (at least in the creative, rough draft stage) might turn the idea faucet on. And for me, writing by longhand seems to do that. It is a little more work when I have to do the typing and saving, and sometimes I don’t have that kind of time. But it’s an effective idea generator for me.
       
      And yes, typing and writing are distinctively different processes. Good point. Glad to hear about your success with this strategy.   : )

      Reply

  32. CatsEyeWriter June 19, 2012 at 3:59 pm #

    So true, Colleen. I’ve been told I can highlight sections of books on my Kindle, but no sticky notes and no notes in margins. That’s just how I fully interact with a book, especially if I am studying storylines to help me with my own plotting. : )

    Reply

  33. murano place June 19, 2012 at 9:17 pm #

    I like using computer while writing its very comfy to use for me…I don’t have that kind of time. But it’s an effective idea generator for me.

    Reply

  34. Julia19 June 20, 2012 at 8:05 am #

    I don’t write a lot by hand in my other writing, but I do a lot of planning with pen and paper. I like that better than planning and outlining on the computer. Thanks for sharing this with us.

    Reply

  35. Julia19 June 20, 2012 at 8:08 am #

    I don’t write a lot by hand in my other writing, but I do a lot of planning with pen and paper. I like that better than planning and outlining on the computer. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply

  36. MuranoPlace June 26, 2012 at 1:29 am #

    Thanks for sharing this idea about writing…i learn a lot of things reading your article..Hope you will continue to  share with us..

    Reply

    • JudyDunn June 26, 2012 at 7:02 am #

       @MuranoPlace Great to see you here. Glad this post was useful.  : )

      Reply

  37. PilotPenUSA August 13, 2012 at 12:05 pm #

    @judyleedunn What a lovely post! Sounds like you’re due for a #thinkinink post too! 🙂 #powertothepen

    Reply

    • JudyLeeDunn August 13, 2012 at 12:50 pm #

      @PilotPenUSA Not familiar with the #thinkinink thing. Just saw the #powertothepen reference on #blogchat last night.

      Reply

      • PilotPenUSA August 13, 2012 at 1:15 pm #

        @judyleedunn We’ve been asking bloggers to #thinkinink by handwriting a post or 2! http://t.co/chIze0Rm offers more info. 🙂 #powertothepen

        Reply

  38. JudyDunn August 19, 2012 at 7:25 pm #

     @TinaBarbour   : )

    Reply

  39. Barb Johnson February 28, 2013 at 1:15 pm #

    Guess I’m late to the party, but I just found this post today. It’s wonderful. I write longhand every day and then edit and fix on the computer. Love your writing and thank you.

    Reply

    • Judy Lee Dunn February 28, 2013 at 4:13 pm #

      Barb,

      Isn’t it fun to run across an old blog post that still speaks to you? I love it when that happens!

      Glad to hear there are a few of us long-handers left. : )

      Reply

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