Writing Longhand and WIOTD Resurfaces


I’m enjoying a wonderful new book by Susan Bell called The Artful Edit that I’ll be mining for blog discussions in the next several entries. It’s divided into 5 chapters, Gaining Perspective, The Big Picture: Macro-Editing, The Details: Micro-Editing, Master Class, and Servants, Dictators, Allies: A Brief History of Editors. As a connoiseur of writing books, I can safely say, this one is a real keeper.

Right now I’m in the section on writing longhand. Since I’m a big longhand fan, it’s right up my alley. To quote: “the brain and the hand are connected. Once you begin to let an idea unfold, you keep unfolding it. Ink flows, ideas flow with it. When you type. . .into a computer, you don’t give your imagination the chance to really follow things through” (Freeman qtd. in Bell 17). Heather Sellers also writes a good deal on her blog, Word After Word, that her students who draft in longhand often have better, at least more fully realized, first drafts.

Amen! At first I felt I wrote longhand just because I like the sensuous feel of ballpoint (sorry, Monda) on paper. But now I can claim that the “brain-hand” connection is really tapping into my imagination!

Bell goes on to quote from a die-hard computer drafter that he lets his imagination unfold in a similar way by not allowing himself to look at the screen while he’s writing. I imagine this could work in the same way. By typing and “not looking” you don’t interrupt the flow.

I’m interested in my reader’s thoughts on this.

In other news, a wardrobe incident of the day resurfaced this morning. Just when we’d thought we had the sweats or shorts and a t-shirt uniform down, younger son informed us that he had to wear jeans and a plain t-shirt today because he’s in a fifties performance at school.

“In it?” We said incredulously. “You’re actually in it?”

He nodded.

Needless to say, this was the first we’d heard of said performance. So, after checking with the main office and learning that he did, indeed, speak the truth, albeit belatedly, this morning has been a rush of rearranged schedules. As another understanding parent colleague, who was part of the meeting I had to reschedule at the exact same time, said, “Look at it this way, at least he didn’t tell you he needed a tri-fold display on the praying mantis by tomorrow.”

Now there speaks a voice of experience.

That’s all for now. I’m off to write in longhand and then beam proudly at my little guy.

Bye y’all,


1 Comment

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One response to “Writing Longhand and WIOTD Resurfaces

  1. Cindi

    How funny. Our two sons are three years apart. One is very good about giving notices, the other is not so good! I have to agree with you about writing long handed. I have tried to instill that in my sons. The mistakes seem much more prevalent in a computer copy than one hand written. Enjoy the fifties. Cindi 🙂

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