Many readers will look at this photo and try to figure out what the words are. This very page sits to my right as I type this. The contents look like a Doctor’s prescription bill pad. They actually represent an outline for this very post.
A few short days ago when I was working on some notes, something just clicked for me to write out some of the ideas in longhand versus printing. It really had been a while since I wrote anything out this way so part of me just wanted to see if I could still do it. Words tend to flow better on pages when writing out longhand versus the soft-hammering type motions of straight printing. So I’m back to writing longhand as part of my note taking.
Can you remember back when you started to learn longhand? I definitely do. Third grade was a pain in the ass. All the grades were. Even when I was involved in creative writing, I never really liked school and that’s another story altogether. My third grade teacher had us starting out with l’s and i’s. Before long I could remember writing about how Lill felt ill repeatedly….Most boring story ever. Incidentally I had an Aunt Lill who eventually fell ill…..and so on.
I had forgotten the smooth motions of longhand writing on the page and how people used to complain about how they could never read my handwriting. I didn’t think it was that important as long as I could read it that was all that mattered. When I open one of my many books of short verse and poetry I’ve written over the years, the stuff that was handwritten has a certain quality to it that seems to make it stand out among the crowd.
On the rare occasion that I work from a coffee shop it is never with a laptop. I might dictate something into my iPhone where I currently have a long-running list of ideas. Still I prefer to write a few things out. When I last did this at a coffee shop in Florida, it was all printed. Towards the end of the pages, the writing looked a bit tired as if I was forcing out all possible angles of some future work. At that point it did not even dawn on me to write anything out longhand. It had been a while.
For ideas and outlines, longhand appears to be working in my favour again. Time to take a break from printing on the pages. If you have not written anything longhand in a while, consider re-visiting it as a way to come back to a part of how you might work. Print a few ideas to page, then longhand a few more out. Compare them and see how they flow. Most importantly, go with whatever works best for how you work.