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  • Sophia Nigro

Why I Prefer Handwriting over Typing

As we continue into this digital age, I’ve begun to notice how we’re moving further and further away from physical media. I remember when I was younger that there was no way to submit things digitally. I’d have to handwrite my different essays and submit them physically during class. The change to digital slowly started while I was in high school, as we were given Chromebooks to submit some work but still had a decent amount of physical assignments. By the time I hit college, it seemed that I only ever used my laptop for my work and physical notebooks were nowhere in sight. It was very rare that I submitted things physically, and the only classes that ever happened for me were my Writing or English classes. However, as I enter my senior year, I’ve finally realized why it was these classes that pushed for handwriting.

In one of my creative writing classes, my professor had us do journal entries once a week. We were able to write whatever we wanted, as long as it was in a physical notebook. Looking back, I did a lot of writing that year. I was constantly writing different short stories in that journal, both for my class and for my own personal enjoyment. It seemed that while I was physically writing, my creativity was skyrocketing. I would just get an idea and be able to go with it. My writer's block was truly at an all time low. However, after that year my classes didn’t require physical writing. Due to this, I began writing online more, and found myself writing on my own time less and less. It wasn’t until more recently that I realized that the more I wrote online, the less creativity and motivation I had.

The realization of how good handwriting was for me occurred this past year, thanks to one of my English professors. In her classes, she preferred us to handwrite our notes instead of type our notes. While I had used my laptop in a previous class of hers, I decided to follow her advice and hand write my notes, something I hadn’t done since my early high school days. I found that while I couldn’t write out my notes as fast as I could’ve typed them, I was much more invested in our discussions while physically writing. I was better focused on what was happening and was retaining information a lot better. My note-taking was a lot more vigorous too, as I was writing down more notes than I had ever typed out, and I was even organizing them. When studying for my exams, reading my detailed, organized written notes were immensely more helpful than reading my plain digital notes had ever been, and I overall felt more confident with the subject than I had when I only used my laptop. By the end of the year, after seeing how much I flourished while handwriting, I finally understood why my professor had kept pushing to write physical notes.

From these experiences, I’ve become a firm believer in handwriting over typing. Studies have shown that handwriting stimulates the brain more, and I’ve found this to be true with myself. Writing is always more fun and stimulating when I do it on paper. When I have to submit a writing piece online, I tend to find myself staring at a blank screen, not knowing where to start. Even while typing this I found myself taking long pauses, not knowing where to go. What typically saves me is pulling out a physical notebook and writing out different ideas and notes. This handwriting gets me started and is what eventually allows me to begin typing out a story. While typing may be easier in certain situations, I’ve found that handwriting is the key to creativity (something my Writing and English professors discovered long before I did). So, next time you’re staring at an empty document, not knowing how to start your piece, try pulling out a notebook. You may find that handwriting will be the thing to finally end that writer’s block.

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