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Preference: Handwriting or Typing?

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Sartoris
Lost Thinker
United States
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Whenever I try writing, I've used both paper and pen as well as the computer, but as someone who constantly revises while going along (something I want to move away from doing) I noticed each method has it's own benefits and drawbacks.

Using word documents is great for quickly trying out different phrases, ideas, layouts without committing. I can easily change anything that doesn't satisfy me. That said, it can also mean feeling more indecisive about any decision, leaving me in a quagmire.

I also personally enjoy the sensation of handwriting and the direct, physical connection between my thoughts and the result. However, as of now, my writing isn't fluid. It's extremely difficult for me to conceive a draft, or a considerable start, and feel inspired enough to continue in a sitting. Despite realising it's better to get something out, and return much later for revisions and additions.

So, I wondered what some of your own thoughts and experiences have been in this regard, and whether anyone has advice, suggestions for being more comfortable and easygoing with the initial conceptual/writing stages.

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cold_fusion
Dangerous Mind
Australia
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Sartoris said:Whenever I try writing, I've used both paper and pen as well as the computer, but as someone who constantly revises while going along (something I want to move away from doing) I noticed each method has it's own benefits and drawbacks.

Using word documents is great for quickly trying out different phrases, ideas, layouts without committing. I can easily change anything that doesn't satisfy me. That said, it can also mean feeling more indecisive about any decision, leaving me in a quagmire.

I also personally enjoy the sensation of handwriting and the direct, physical connection between my thoughts and the result. However, as of now, my writing isn't fluid. It's extremely difficult for me to conceive a draft, or a considerable start, and feel inspired enough to continue in a sitting. Despite realising it's better to get something out, and return much later for revisions and additions.

So, I wondered what some of your own thoughts and experiences have been in this regard, and whether anyone has advice, suggestions for being more comfortable and easygoing with the initial conceptual/writing stages.


First of All Sartoris...welcome to DU!

i find doing it on the computer is much more easier and as you also mentioned faster. I do occasionally write/scribble pen on paper and also enjoy that part. In either case, just speaking for self... i will not write anything forcefully pardon me if the wording is a bit cold poems, they just come! i agree with Buk in this regard strongly... "Never Try"... but that, is my personal thing not necessarily the same for others.

Enjoy your stay... you're at a great place here!

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Ahavati
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I LOVE handwriting myself. There's something about filling up a journal and starting another.  I love the typos - the cross outs, the edits, fingerprint smudges, torn paper, and spills.  There's life in them, human error working itself out, the gestation and birth of poetry.

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Tallen
earth_empath
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I like (and do both)
I can type while i think and so this makes it easier but I also like writing because I can draw pictures along the way but since I've not learned graphics arts (yet) and don't have a scanner, the drawings stay tucked away in my Journals.

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Nari
Laura Jean
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Luxembourg
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I have to grab whatever is closest otherwise the train of thought evaporates quickly.

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Tallen
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Nari said:I have to grab whatever is closest otherwise the train of thought evaporates quickly.

I've written short spills on my arm
in a Pub, when I couldn't find any napkins.  

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Sartoris
Lost Thinker
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Also related to this topic, when you initially started or for anyone who wrote infrequently for awhile, did it take time to develop ease with creating poems? At least when first setting down your ideas.

cold_fusion said:

First of All Sartoris...welcome to DU!

i find doing it on the computer is much more easier and as you also mentioned faster. I do occasionally write/scribble pen on paper and also enjoy that part. In either case, just speaking for self... i will not write anything forcefully pardon me if the wording is a bit cold poems, they just come! i agree with Buk in this regard strongly... "Never Try"... but that, is my personal thing not necessarily the same for others.

Enjoy your stay... you're at a great place here!


Thank you!

I usually write spontaneously as well, but honestly it's not something that I care for. Only because it's often challenging for me to 'keep the pressure on,' so to speak, and follow through that first wave of inspiration. Sometimes I feel like either my mind or the way it works is too bogged down with everyday clutter to stay focused...

I hope so, in both cases!

Ahavati said:I LOVE handwriting myself. There's something about filling up a journal and starting another.  I love the typos - the cross outs, the edits, fingerprint smudges, torn paper, and spills.  There's life in them, human error working itself out, the gestation and birth of poetry.

Exactly, which is why I keep a personal diary/journal, even while I handwrite verse less frequently.

If I may ask, once you've been given an idea or inspiration, how does your process normally come along?

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Ahavati
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Sartoris said:Also related to this topic, when you initially started or for anyone who wrote infrequently for awhile, did it take time to develop ease with creating poems? At least when first setting down your ideas.

There is always ego involved in the beginning.   All writers must evolve to overcome that in order to channel poetry from pure inspiration vs. themselves.  The best way to do this is the read the greats.  Find a poet ( or many ) who inspires you and study them.

Exactly, which is why I keep a personal diary/journal, even while I handwrite verse less frequently.

If I may ask, once you've been given an idea or inspiration, how does your process normally come along?


It honestly varies. Sometimes, when the inspiration is pure, I practically write on the spot with very little edits.  But even then, I love to research for accuracy if it's an observational  or spiritual piece.  When I'm challenged in a competition, such as the Classic Comps, for example, it takes a bit.  You have to study, research, then draw your inspiration to emulate yet not plagiarize them.  That can take a process of weeks at the most. I have taken as along as months working on one.  Some have been years.  

Poetry has no limitations.  The only thing that does is yourself, and how hard you challenge and push with determination to become the best writer you can.

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Sartoris
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Ahavati: In theory I definitely agree with that, about setting the ego aside. Putting this in practice has certainly been another story, and I've nothing but admiration for poets who manage to do so. I'm actually hoping to work on reading poetry more consistently than I used to, even if I don't write for awhile.

Regarding the latter part of your response, I'm sure that's especially where close examination comes in handy...

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JohnnyBlaze
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Except for jotting down a simple note now and then ... or writing something special to my Sweetheart ... I abstain from handwriting. I am thankful for the typewriter, the word processor, the PC, the tablet, the phone .....

Cut and Paste? It's a Godsend.

I have difficulty writing by hand because in the frenzy, it just becomes a mish-mash of barely legible print and cursive.  I have to focus very hard to hand print an average sized poem that is readable by another human being.

In fact, I'd rather record myself reciting, as much as I can't stand the sound of my own voice. I'll probably fuck it up and require a few takes, but it will save the tree I'm destined to crumple up and pitch into the waste basket.

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David_Macleod
David Macleod
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Paper pencil and eraser, because some stuff needs rubbed out - it's therapeutic

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Sartoris
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Johnny & David: I suppose this gets to another, underlying, thought which is how much of writing, poetry and otherwise, is how can be fairly spontaneous and formed in the mind (allowing for revisions, alterations of course) for some, but others it's an extensive process of trial-and-error, and anything in between.

I can't help feeling envious for those who have the concentration and memory for visualising what they want to say with ease.

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Lucian-Hodoboc
Lucian Hodoboc
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Romania
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Maybe I'm one of the weird ones, but I am not a fan of handwriting. I find that I'm a lot more productive when writing (both poetry and prose) if I type it at a computer. I have problems when it comes to concentration and visualizing what I want to say because I struggle with obsessive-compulsive disorder, and writing by hand would just make me waste a lot of paper, which is kind of a pet peeve of mine.

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Sartoris
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Lucian: Well, based on earlier responses, you're definitely not alone in this (Haha.) I can slightly relate to what you're saying, if only in using tons of paper, for going over just one piece... Sometimes it's obsessive perfectionism, sometimes it's simply feeling stuck and toying around with whatever comes to mind.

Thinking about it, I have to agree with Johnny, in that cut & paste is miraculous (Haha.)

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Blackwolf
I.M.Blackwolf
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Absolutely disagree with most here...

I find handwriting my work so necessary for the true feeling to come through the pen...

I not only write poetry , yet many thousands of pages of qabalistic formulas , and writing on ancient subjects necessary , as my writing style has been compared to ancient script time and again...

I actually hate typing , yet am reliant on it to convey my poetry and writing online...

I personally feel anyone who can not write well with pen and paper should not be allowed to publish , yet that is a personal opinion...

Yet , if I ever published a collection , or magazine / book of various poets , that would not only be a requirement of submission , yet a determining factor in my even reading their work...

However , I know I am not a modern , yet more suited to another timeframe , and am satisfied as far as that regard...

Long live the pen !

( The pen is mightier than cybertext always )

By the way all my work is extremely rarely ever reworked yet written in the immediate moment , without reworking...

In my opinion , work that is reworked should be mostly thrown in the trash...but of course that is just an opinion...😎😋😉

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