Handwriting Online?

I love to write longhand. It can spark creativity, get me past a creative block, and help me get into flow—and there’s science that shows writing longhand activates different parts of the brain than typing on a computer keyboard.

Plus there’s nothing quite like the feel of a beautiful pen gliding across paper.

I’m not sure this quite counts as writing longhand, but it’s so cool I just had to share. Enjoy!


Do you ever write longhand? What do you think of taking the “handwritten” approach online?

The hidden price of "productivity" every writer needs to know - www.cherylreif.com

You’ve probably read the same tips I have: Have a smart phone? Check Facebook while standing in line at the post office! Respond to Twitter messages while waiting for your dentist! Catch up on your news feed while sitting on the pot! For years, I thought the path to increased productivity was to squeeze in MORE–more […]


  1. says

    I find this post interestin’,because for the past 2 weeks,I have SEARCHED for Stationary in stores with no results.I’m not an author or blogger altho,I’m an avid reader n do post reviews, back to the point,I could only find it online.I miss writin’ real letters n receivin’ them,so a few of my pals n me on twitter are gonna resume this age old form of engagement to ‘keep in touch’ other than computer.Very interestin’ Thank You!

    • says

      That’s so funny, but now that you mention it, I can’t recall the last time I saw stationery in a store. Cards, yes, but not stationery. Glad to hear you’re going to go back to some handwritten communication! I think it’s even more special to receive an actual letter nowadays :)

  2. says

    I hate writing longhand. I can’t write fast enough for my ideas. My hand cramps and it makes writing a novel so much harder. Plus I have to then type in what I wrote. Extra work. I much prefer writing directly on the computer. It’s easier to edit and change sentences rather than crossing out and writing above what I’ve written. So many times in the past I’ve been unable to decipher my cross-outs and arrows pointing to new text. Plus writing time is at a premium and I have to use it wisely. I know some people can’t write unless they use a pen or a pencil first, but I’m glad I taught myself to write on the computer.

    • says

      Hi Anna-Maria :). I think it’s MUCH more efficient to write on the computer…I just can’t always get into flow that way. I think it ends up working out, though, since I usually do some editing/rewriting when I type in changes. Writing on the computer is definitely a skill, though. I’m better at it than I used to be! NaNo is my practice time every year.

  3. says

    Longhand isn’t bad if I’m not sure what I plan to write (i.e. I haven’t plotted yet) or if I don’t have the computer handy, but once I get in the groove, I find longhand too slow and frustrating.

    • says

      One thing is certain: people seem to have strong feelings one way or the other! I’m currently swayed by the purchase of a new fountain pen…it’s a decadent pleasure to use.

      I’m easy to make happy 😀

  4. says

    I think we are approaching a happy medium for people who like to write long-hand with improved stylus and apps on iPad .

    I have played with apps like PhatPad (oh the joys of Google that require unique spelling :)) and they do a pretty good job of translating hand-written text into typed text. I mean it works pretty well for my hand-writing and I have never had good hand writing.

    I’m also having more fun playing with speech to text because I was able to triple my output (and I type about 65 words a minute) when I wrote my last novel.


    • says

      Ooh, interesting. I’ll have to check out PhatPad; I’ve played around with handwriting apps on the iPad, but didn’t search out one that will convert my scribbles into true text.

      I’m curious what speech to text program you use, and whether that’s on the iPad as well. I’ve used Dragon Dictation on my iPhone, but didn’t like it–I had to stop too often to let it translate, so I would lose my train of thought.

  5. says

    I am old skool, I love writing with a nice pen on pretty paper. I don’t do it nearly as often as I used to, but I am always looking for an excuse to buy both :) I indulged in a gorgeous fountain pen a couple years ago, it’s like a mini treasure.

    It’s sad that some schools are getting away from teaching cursive writing now. How will people be able to sign legal documents and such if they can’t write their own name? Block letters?

  6. says

    I look forward to that special time when I get to purchase a new writing journal. Naturally, the notebooks are next to the office supply aisle, so I grab some new pens for good measure. Only then do I feel ready for NaNo. Oh, sure, my word count wil happen on the computer, but I need to devote a journal specifically to my story’s outline, the character pages, and then the endless number of “What if?” pages where I explore a different plot point or motivation. My journal quickly fills with pages of notes, arrows, crossed out lines, columns to compare/contrast, and mind maps.

    I need to have the feel of pen and paper to really get me into my “Writing Mode”, though I soon transfer over to the computer and continue my thoughts. Usually at a much faster pace. :)

  7. says

    No way!!! That’s fascinating to me! And I’m like you, I loooove to write longhand. I almost always start scenes in a notebook first and then transfer them to the computer once I’ve scribbled down my ideas. There is just something about pen and paper, something magical. But that looks very cool, I’d be curious to try the program just to see what my handwriting would look like being typed on a screen!!

  8. says

    This is really cool. However, my problem is that my handwriting is illegible to anyone but me. (Ask my husband when he tries do decipher my grocery lists.) It’s actually great for journaling, because nobody can read my writing! But it would be fun to try this app.