To type or handwrite: that is the question. I am a member of a couple of Facebook author groups and this is a frequently asked question. There are many reasons given for individual choices.

“I write my first draft by hand, at least for fiction. For non-fiction, I type
happily on a computer, but for fiction I write by hand, because I’m trying
to achieve a kind of thoughtless state, or an unconscious instinctive state.
I’m not reading what I write when I wrote. It’s an unconscious
outpouring that’s a mess, and it’s many, many steps away from anything
anyone would want to read. Creating that way seems to generate the
most interesting material for me to work with, though.” – Jennifer Egan

I agree with Jennifer Egan and handwrite all my stories, even all my blogs, before typing them on the computer. There are a few other reasons for me though:

  • scientists have proved that handwriting accesses a different part of the brain to typing on a keyboard. Studies have shown that writing by hand accesses the part of the brain associated with creativity.
  • having worked in administrative roles for the past 30 years, typing on my computer feels too much like work. Whereas writing feels exciting!
  • I can sit and write anywhere. If the mood takes me, I can take my writing outdoors; to a cafe; even in the bath! I don’t plan to write in the bath but sometimes inspiration strikes and I call out to my daughter to “please bring me a notebook and pen!”

Which leads me on to notebooks. Normally only necessity gets me to go shopping, but shopping for stationery (or haberdashery or books for that matter!) is entirely different and something I will do willingly. My array of notebooks proves that. In fact, I think it helps me to be creative too. I often have a complete creative block if I don’t have a fancy notebook to write in.

I’d love to hear what helps your creativity. Please contact me here to let me know.