Writing, real writing, makes you smarter

Thursday, October 24, 2013


I read an article recently that said this:

"Forming letters by strokes, as opposed to selecting each by keys, opens regions of the brain involving thinking, language, and memory that are not opened through typing. Writing, real writing, makes you smarter."

Well, if that doesn't motivate me to pick up my Sharpie pen and start scribbling, I don't know what does.

In all seriousness though, I believe it. Writing by hand helps me focus better, so why shouldn't it make me smarter as well? It's how I got through all those boring lectures in college. I would take pages of neatly printed notes by hand while an auditorium full of students clacked away on their laptops. It might sound contradictory, but concentrating on the words I was writing helped me listen better. And, also, words printed neatly across a lined page just make my insides happy.

Still, you have to admit that it's much easier to let your fingers fly across a keyboard and get your thoughts down faster. Especially for people like me who are incredibly picky about their handwriting and can only write so fast without becoming majorly irritated that the letters aren't straight!! 

Despite the convenience of typing, there are a lot of times when I want nothing to do with a screen and a keyboard. I spend all day at work on a computer and all evening typing articles and papers for school. It's easy to burn out -- not on writing, but on computers. That's one of the reasons why I keep a moleskin notebook on my desk. Whenever I need a break from my screen, I can jot down notes and tasks in my notebook. Not because it's more convenient, but just because it gives me a break. And that feeling of forming letters with my hand is oddly rejuvenating.

I loved this blog post:

"I wonder if those of us who do the majority of our work online -- and let's face it, that statement covers a multitude of professions -- would do well to cultivate a few offline creative habits. Maybe the way to boost our creative work online is to spend some considerable time doing some of it offline."

What do you think? Does writing by hand help get your creative juices flowing or do you find it a waste of time?

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