Writing by hand vs typing

It’s day 5 of NaNoWriMo and I don’t have a word count total for yesterday or today.

The reason for that is not because I’ve not written anything – I have – but I’ve fallen back into an old habit of mine. You’ve heard of comfort food? I have a comfort way of writing, which is in one of the very many notepads I’ve collected over the years, which brings me to the point of this post.

Writing by hand vs writing by typing directly.

Both have their pro points:

With writing by hand, I find I can focus more on the writing instead of getting distracted by the word count at the bottom of the screen. (Also means I can’t get distracted by other things my laptop has to offer – hello, Internet.) Writing in a notepad means I can also self-edit as I’m typing it up.

With typing directly onto the screen, it means you get more time to write – you don’t have to then type up everything you’ve already written because it’s there on the screen/in your document already.

Other people I’ve spoken to generally have a preference for one over the other.

One of my writer friends can’t stand the thought of writing by hand – she thinks its a waste of time and says she can’t write as fast as she types so gets frustrated with herself.

Another insists writing by hand is the only way she can do it – she much prefers the tactile feel of putting pen to paper and the flow of ink over the page to just hitting keys in the right order. (This means she hates typing things up and often ends up grumbling about it as waits until she’s got dozens of pages written before starting up her computer.

I tend to set myself a limit – if I hit 25 handwritten pages, I’ll make myself stop as soon as the scene I’m working on comes to an end. Then I’ll type up what I’ve got, and try to continuing typing till I at least hit the end of that chapter. (Usually using something like Write or Die to help keep me from getting distracted online, I admit!)

So there we go. Day 5. It’s a weekend, so I’m hoping to catch up and at least hit the word count of 10,000 my NaNoWriMo dashboard says we should all be at by close of play tomorrow!

Best stop procrastinating on here and get back to it!

Good luck, my fellow NaNoWriMos, and if any of you have any thoughts on writing by hand vs typing, please do share in the comments!

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