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Do you write much by hand anymore? I do three "morning pages" faithfully ever day, occasional freewriting, and I jot notes to myself here and there, though every now and then I try to weed out and condense my notes-to-self into Evernote, where I have a chance of someday finding them again when I need them. I have two types of writing, self-writing and other-people writing. My self-writing is a scrawly lowercase thing that's barely legible. My more presentible writing is all caps, block print. Writing cursive is awkward for me and I hardly ever do it, it feels like "impostor" writing, not real.

I'm reading (yet another) book on writers block that suggests our left and right hemespheres have different takes on why we do or don't write. It suggests posing questions to yourself and answering first with your dominant and then your non-dominant hand. MY LEFT HAND CAN BARELY HOLD A PEN. I find this extremely weird. I can play a guitar. The left hand is called upon to do some pretty complicated stuff on a guitar neck. But it can't hold a pen.

And this notion led me to wondering if maybe typing has some kind of special access to both hemespheres. I've never seen that theory floated anywhere and I've always thought it must. Last writing group I was brainstorming with a friend and she started speaking an idea at the same time she was typing it, and I saw that "click" happening. I think it's the "click" I get when I'm working successfully on a story. Typing.

What about you? Right handed? Left handed? Hopeless with your non-dominant hand? See a big difference when you're typing versus writing?

My mom is a semi-ambidextrous lefty. Weird random fact.

The book is Write: 10 Days to Overcome Writer's Block. Period.


( 22 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 19th, 2015 03:39 pm (UTC)
My morning pages are "waiting for water" time too :D

My to-do list has been electronic for maybe a year now, I like that it can add recurring events, and I can get it on my phone or my tablet if I need.
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 19th, 2015 04:48 pm (UTC)
I usually write one page while the water boils and another page and a half while the coffee steeps in the press. Then I get to actually drink some while I finish it off :D
Mar. 19th, 2015 05:14 pm (UTC)
*waves* Hi there! See you in September?
Mar. 19th, 2015 05:45 pm (UTC)
I'm not going to make it to the UK this year. I think aiming for even-numbered years might be a more realistic goal for me financially.
Mar. 19th, 2015 03:44 pm (UTC)
Some of what you can and can't do well with your off hand will be muscle memory and practice. If you spend lots of time playing the guitar than you will be pretty good at that and if you spend time practicing writing with that hand or picking things up or playing a particular game...

I consider myself semi ambidextrous in that there are number of things I prefer to do with my left-hand rather than my right but my right seems to be just a bit more dominant.

From a quick experiment just now it seems my left handed printing is slower to write but clearer to read than my right handed writing. which I will admit is often a scrawly mix of cursive and printing. I also drew profiles better with my left hand.

I will admit that I use to write all my first drafts longhand and then usually before I'd completely finished writing it out by hand I'd start typing it into my computer while making changes as I went along. Though for the last few years I've been doing everything on the computer. It does make things go faster and more legibly.
Mar. 19th, 2015 04:50 pm (UTC)
Yes, it makes sense that practice has a lot to do with it!
Mar. 19th, 2015 05:22 pm (UTC)
I scribble notes at work, but rarely use a pen at home. My hand writing is terrible now - lack of practice? - and even I have trouble reading it. I think you are on to something with the typing using both sides of the brain and making the flow from brain to screen easier.

If only I could stay in that zone and not wander off. I think I'm writing and find myself in another room doing something else...
Mar. 19th, 2015 05:46 pm (UTC)
I hate that "how did I get here?" phenomenon. I'm guilty of it myself!
Mar. 19th, 2015 07:57 pm (UTC)
I don't usually write long hand anymore. I used to, but with a ten year old, I just don't have the time. I need to make my time count & honestly don't have time to have to transcribe stuff later. Plus, my handwriting is TERRIBLE even with my dominant hand. As for my nondominant, it's at least legible.

All my to-do lists & shopping lists are usually handwritten, altho I do currently have a word doc with my current active writing projects including deadlines....

Mar. 20th, 2015 12:12 am (UTC)
My shopping lists are by hand too, it's just fastest for me. Theoretically I could go to my store's website and have them print out my shopping list...but how time consuming. It's easier to jot down what I need on one of the million sticky notes lying around.
Mar. 20th, 2015 12:43 pm (UTC)
Yes, same here, I could make a list via the store app on my phone, but I tried that once and it didn't work, so I went back to paper and pen LOL.
Rose Wynne
Mar. 19th, 2015 09:10 pm (UTC)
Left hander here.
Typing has been one of the most important things I have ever learned. I have always suspected I have a mild form of dyslexia, I have trouble retaining words I have learned and can't see spelling mistakes very easily. Unless a word is spelt out prophetically I really struggle sometimes.
Typing has given me a different connection to words, a kind of finger memory. I find it extremely hard to write on paper, it's like a part of the process is missing now.
So now between my, finger brain connection, spell check and Google, I have the confidence to write this to you, without it I would be floundering in the dark.
The none thinking part of the process fascinates me, I don't think the spelling I just think the words and the fingers do the work. The only time I have to stop is when the fingers don't know the word I want and I have to look it up.
Mar. 20th, 2015 12:12 am (UTC)
Re: Left hander here.
Wow, that's really powerful, Rose!! I love the idea of training your fingers to bypass the difficult spots.
Mar. 19th, 2015 11:57 pm (UTC)
When I broke my right wrist (dominant side), I had to write with my left hand. It was fairly slow at first but got faster as time went by but only print, no cursive. With my right hand I write a mixture of cursive and print straying toward mostly cursive. My penmanship depends largely on my mood but it's pretty decent (read: legible).

Typing with my left hand was interesting. At the end I was getting close to 40 wpm.

Typing with both hands...my fingers can fly. Of course I have to go back to correct the letters my dyslexia twists around for me, though.

Interesting post, Jordan. Never really gave it much thought before :)
Mar. 20th, 2015 12:14 am (UTC)
A few years ago I had a neck injury that limited my ability to type for about a month. I tried to train myself to use Dragon voice-to-text. Ugh, what a fiasco, my brain just didn't want to do it!
Mar. 20th, 2015 12:19 am (UTC)
I've only played with Dragon at work and could never get the hang of it. I type much faster with my left hand than what I could do with Dragon. XD
Mar. 20th, 2015 12:31 am (UTC)
No kidding! Dragon takes me twice as long and then it's all full of wacky errors!
Mar. 20th, 2015 12:37 am (UTC)
I've managed to create a whole new language that no one can translate. =D
Mar. 20th, 2015 12:48 am (UTC)
Now THAT'S a unique skill!
Mar. 20th, 2015 12:51 am (UTC)
Hey, if you're impressed by my garbled speaking skills and Dragon's lack of understanding it, you'll be absolutely impressed by my ability to totally screw up a computer in ways that flummox 25 year tech veterans. It's a gift. XD
Mar. 20th, 2015 09:58 am (UTC)
Make sure you only use your superpowers for good! ;-)
Mar. 20th, 2015 07:36 pm (UTC)
I'm similar to you in that I hand write in a journal most days. I can't call them "morning pages" since they aren't always in the morning. But anyway, I find it useful to write out thoughts and feelings. It keeps them from going around and around in my head. Then I also have a working notebook for any other kinds of notes, about stories, blog posts, whatever. I trawl through it once a week to extract things I need to type up for later use.

I definitely do cursive though. Anything else would be too slow for me. And at the moment I'm using a couple of my fountain pens, because writing with them can be awesome.

My writing is pretty bad though. I find it hard to read myself at times! But I rarely go back and read the journals. That's not what they are for really.

No way could I write with my left hand. I'm not especially ambidextrous. If I put nail polish on, then it's pretty good on my left hand, but my right is a disaster area. :D
( 22 comments — Leave a comment )

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