Hand writing or keyboard tapping? Which is best?

Do you prefer the creative connection of putting favourite pen to beautiful notebook OR the speed and efficiency of onscreen typing?

Putting pen to pagePutting pen to notebook

  • You can write anywhere with a notepad and pen
  • When friends and family know you are a writer they tend to buy you notebooks! And if they don’t you can indulge your love of stationery.
  • Waterstones and Paper Chase do some lovely notebooks.
  • You write more slowly and have more time to think about it
  • You get a truer connection to yourself and your deepest thoughts
  • Fiction, which is more of a creative process, may lend itself better to hand writing.
  • Putting pen to paper is a more fluid experience
  • Going back through what you’ve written and making changes can get very messy

The cool efficiency of screen typing

  • Quicker if you can type at a reasonable speed. If you are still at the two fingers stage it might be worth doing an online touch typing course e.g. www.typingclub.com
  • typing
  • Easier to go back and edit
  • If you hand write you will still have to type it up making that process even longer (although speech to text software may help with this.)
  • Non-fiction might lend itself more so to typing as it is a more structured form of writing
  • To ensure you don’t lose anything you have written make sure you back up. I use Dropbox so my files are available to me on any computer. So, if like Louis de Bernières you lose your laptop with 4 chapters of a brand new novel on it, you will not lose your work too (as he did).


So which do I advocate?

I do both.

I love scribbling in a cafe as I watch the world go by and I always have a notebook with me wherever I go. So if the mood takes me, I’m ready to go.
I have Dragon software which enables me to talk my work into a Word document but I can’t honestly recommend this as there are always mistakes in every sentence. The danger is that it will type something that is not what you said but that is correct grammatically and spelt accurately so that spell check doesn’t pick it up. So you have to read it back with a beady eye.
By the time you have corrected the piece, it most definitely isn’t quicker but it does cut down on the amount of typing which for those who are still at the two fingers stage is a bonus!

If I’m at home I tend to go straight to a computer. I have a writing desk set up downstairs in the living room which looks out onto the summer room and the garden beyond so I have a nice view!

2 thoughts on “Hand writing or keyboard tapping? Which is best?”

  1. Gill, I am definitely a computer writer as an old broken finger gives me pain when hand writing and I can flow better when typing.

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