If you find yourself staring at a blank computer and the words aren’t flowing, maybe you are approaching your story wrong. Maybe you need to handwrite your first draft.
Every writer is different, and every writer will have their own writing style and routine. What works for one may not work for another. But if you’ve never thought about handwriting your first draft, it might be worth considering.
I have never handwritten my first draft, but I have handwritten difficult scenes. And it has been helpful. It’s a completely different way of writing so it makes your brain think differently.
If you are struggling to get started or finish your WIP, consider what Lenn Woolston has to say about why you should handwrite your first draft! She has some very compelling reasons!
Five Reasons To Handwrite Your First Draft
Hi there! I’m Lenn Woolston, sci-fi and fantasy writer. I’d like to thank Shelby for the opportunity to discuss one of my favorite writerly topics! With technology literally being at our fingertips, most writers have exchanged pen and paper with keyboards. However, there are a few of us old-school writers out there who maintain handwritten drafts. Here are my top 5 reasons why you should handwrite your first draft:
1. Handwrite Your First Draft to Quiet the Inner Editor
Picture this, you’ve set aside time to finish writing that scene. With your playlist bumping and your assortment of snacks and drinks, you’re ready to write all the words! As you re-read your previous work, you start to notice something. Oh no, did I really misspell my MC’s name there? Jeez, how many times have I used smile? Before you know it, all your allotted time has been dedicated to rewriting the same piece over and over. By handwriting your draft, you can turn to a clean page and not have to worry about red and green squiggly lines.
2. Handwrite Your First Draft for Less Distractions (no Internet)
I’ll be honest here. TheInterwebs are the easiest way to get distracted. While writing on a computer, I become compelled to look up the etymology of certain words. Or my mind drifts where I’m convinced I have to look up the name of the drummer from my favorite band in ninth grade. While surfing the web, it’s then I realize I haven’t checked my social media sites in a few minutes. Hey, I need to work on my platform right? Having the Internet just one click away is far too tempting. Instead, if I need to remember to research something, I can jot a note in my side
margin of my notebook to look up later.
3. Handwrite Your First Draft to Establish a Hard Copy
Every writer fears the dreaded blue screen of death of their computer. We can be writing when all of a sudden our computer reboots before we had the chance to save our changes. Or
worse, our hard drive gets fried and we’ve lost everything. (Insert pterodactyl screeching.) By having my first draft written out, I have a hard copy that can be transposed into the computer. Two copies of my manuscript both hard copy and electronic ensures I have a better chance of saving me from rage-inducing headaches from a lost MS.
4. Handwrite Your First Draft to be Wireless and Portable
Having a notebook and pen is freeing. Think about it. No cords. No batteries dying before your eyes. No need for a WiFi connection. You can write anywhere.
5. Handwrite Your First Draft to Promote Free form Writing. (A panster’s ideal!)
If you’re not familiar with freeform writing, I would refer you to this post. My pen is able to flow especially when I write in cursive. By doing this, I am able to crank out higher word counts all while focusing on being present in the story. Could you do this on the computer? Sure. But having to not worry about typos brings me peace.
There you have it! I encourage you try and write out your next scene to see if you experience any of these perks.
If you’d like to continue following my adventures, find me @LennWoolston on Twitter, Instagram, and my Facebook page. You can also check out my blog at: lennwritesblog.wordpress.com