On Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal published an article titled How Handwriting Trains the Brain. According to a study, children write more words faster and express more ideas when writing by hand as opposed to typing. This raises an interesting question. Does a writer’s reliance on typing as opposed to writing by hand limit the writer’s creativity?
Writing by Hand
I’ve always been drawn to writing by hand, but you can’t easily share your work if it’s written on paper. Such is the nature of our digital society. Despite my preference for handwriting, typing things into a computer seems to save time. Or does it?
If writing by hand engages the mind more than typing, are we really saving time when we turn to the computer for our first drafts? If we are engaging our creativity to a higher degree by hand than on the computer, writing things first by hand should lead to less editing, thus saving more time while helping us to produce better content.
Engaging our Creative Juices
I’ve always found that my ideas flow better when I am outlining by hand. The same is true for putting pen to paper. I don’t know if it’s because I feel like each word needs to count for more if I don’t want my paper to be covered with scribbles, or if, as the artlice from the WSJ claims, the actual act of creating the letters engages my brain. If your brain is already engaged, it seems to follow that it would be easier to tap into your creativity.
A Dying Art
Sadly, kids are spending less time practicing their penmanship. They are more and more often using computers in class. It’s practically unheard of to submit a handwritten essay in college or high school and I would guess the same is true for middle school. So what does this mean for our content? Will our society start producing less interesting content? Will our words become mundane and our stories sub-par?
What do you think? Which do you prefer? Do you write everything by hand? 50/50? Or are you a die hard technology fan? Do you think technology limits our creativity? Our productivity? Should we be concerned by the dying art of writing by hand?