Well, my computer is broken. I’m thankful it happened after I took care of all of my finals for my classes, but now I’m stuck handwriting a lot of my notes, papers, and creative projects. I do eventually type these up (like this blog), but I do find the process of handwriting everything very different than just sitting at a computer and typing my words out.
Let me just say that I type at about 100 words per minute, and I cannot hand-write nearly that fast, nor that clearly. My handwriting is awful if I try to write quickly, so now that I am handwriting everything, my thought and writing process has to slow down to accommodate my physical ability with a pen and paper.
At first I didn’t like this. My writing was sloppy and hard to read and the slower I went, the more tedious I found it. I got over that in about two days and started to appreciate how much more thoughtful I could be with a pen and paper in my hand.
I don’t treat my academic or research work with the same care I treat my poetry. I don’t weigh every word I write down and the possible connotations attached to the word I am writing. My process for writing poetry, consequently, is much much slower than my process for writing something academically or a short story or even a blog.
Now I can slow down and measure the weight of each syllable on the page as I’m carefully crafting the words that fall in line on the page. The process of writing by hand just feels more intimate to me and, even though I do plan on getting a new computer or fixing my broken one soon, I don’t think I’ll give up the valuable lesson I’ve learned as I’ve stepped away from technology.
A pen and paper creates a different set of mind when I write than sitting at a keyboard and computer screen does. When I want to be extra careful and reflective in my writing, I now know I can disconnect from the digital world and turn to what writers of the centuries before the technology age have discovered–the joy, care and intimacy that comes with handwritten works.