On Writing Things Longhand

I have to say that finals week is pretty much the worst time to be recovering from a concussion, especially when there was the season finale of Doctor Who and I lack the willpower to not watch it. But point in fact, the crucial struggle here isn’t a lack of TV, but that I need to be writing papers and studying for exams. Even while no longer on doctor-ordered brain rest, staring at a screen for too long is awful. Luckily for me, that’s not the only option, because I have the ability to write things out longhand, and either wait until my brain feels OK looking at a screen again or ask my lovely fiancée to help me type things up.

That said, writing things out longhand isn’t exactly a walk in the park. It takes longer, and it takes a higher level of deliberation, because I can’t simply copy and paste to move sections of essay around if I don’t like where they fit. I know that pre-computers this was how it was always done, and it is a method I have employed for in-class essays and exams, but I still don’t particularly enjoy it full time. That said, there was a time in my life where almost everything was longhand, as I didn’t have a proper laptop of my own until college. Until the later years of high school when I got my netbook, the traditional way I wrote was to write everything by hand for the first draft or so, and then painstakingly type in all up into OpenOffice before converting it from an .odt to a .doc so that I could send it to other people and/or open it on a different computer. It was such a complicated system that when I got my laptop and the option to write all of my drafts on a computer I jumped at the chance.

That said, I’ve started to change my tune, and now a significant portion of my blog posts, including this one, start out as journal entries, and not just due to head injury. I simply feel that writing things out by hand is a medium that lends itself better to reflective thought.

Honestly, I had so much work to get done this week that I didn’t dare hope I would get time to  write a blog post other than my rather emotional reaction to the conclusion of series 11 of Doctor Who, but fortunately for you readers my brain made me take a mandatory break after doing too much computer work on Saturday, and so I was able to draft this post for you by writing in my journal.

Even though writing takes thought, which isn’t the best for my head, this sort of journaling is relaxing, and keeps me from going stir crazy when movement and/or screen time hurts. Writing brings me peace, and writing longhand brings a certain sort of nostalgia, the good kind which I appreciate when present day pressure starts to weigh me down.

Happy writing!



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