As you can tell from my recent posts, I am big into handwriting notes and plans. Mind you, when it comes to actually composing an essay or story, I still use a computer (as I am now) for expediency, but when it comes to the organizing, researching, or processing ideas and emotional content into words, I must use pen and paper.
Why is that? I am not an expert on brain function, but I have enough experience to realize that I retain more when I write. When I am in a lecture setting, I take copious notes by hand. However, I rarely keep those notes. The act of writing forces my brain to remember what I hear. I see students in the classroom pull out their laptops to take notes. From what I have heard, their retention of the material is far less than the retention of a student who handwrites notes.
Similarly, I think the physicality of writing by hand parlays itself into the inspiration and development of ideas. By nature we are tactile creatures. Paper feels real. Digital bytes on a screen are not real. Writing by hand takes more effort than typing; therefore, it is more intentional. I think that conscious, intentional, sensory experience in the creative process draws forth ideas and helps to flesh them out.
This might not be the case for everyone. I know writers whose ideas come so fast and furiously that they NEED a computer to get it all down. Hey, whatever works. If that is your nature, embrace it. I find creating on the computer to be a bit constraining while on a piece of paper and I can cross out, draw lines to new ideas, engage thought-mapping in a graphic way that I can not accomplish with a computer keyboard. This is my nature, and I embrace it.
For me, I need my Moleskine and Papermate felt tip.
ljg (c) 2016