Three arguments for ‘pen and paper’ writing

The advert of word processing has made it easy for us to complete written work in dribs and drabs, often jumping onto the next paragraph without finishing the first one. This is in stark contrast to the older days of typewriters and traditional print, where work would have to be churned through in strict order and a single typing error could mean starting a whole page again.

Today, a lot of us take notes and complete assignments with the help of a laptop, tablet or smartphone, meaning the need for us to reach for an old-fashioned notebook and pen is seemingly dwindling.

However, global sales of fountain pens have actually increased in recent years, and many people, whether jotting down notes or working on literature, still prefer the experience of putting pen to paper over using an electronic device. Here are three possible reasons to keep your writing analogue:

1. You remember what you’ve written

If you’re taking notes for an exam or any other revision purpose, there is some evidence to suggest you may remember them better if you physically write them down. As you form the flicks and curves of your letters, your mind is more likely to store memories of where you were when you made them, who was in the room with you and any background noises at the time. These are all factors that can help jog your memory.

For children in particular, studies like this one from 2010 suggest that writing words down is a better memory aid than simply visualising them.

2. It takes longer

The slow pace of writing by hand might not seem like much of a draw, but it actually helps you think more about what you’re writing.

On pen and paper, you become more conscious of the individual words you’ve chosen, and this leads you to select them carefully. Thus, it could be argued that a traditional approach to writing helps you become more thoughtful and accurate in your work, thereby improving its quality.

3. It’s more leisurely and less absorbing

Computer screens are immersive, and when we’re in front of one, it can be difficult to take in anything else that’s going on around us. Of course, too much time in front of screens can lead to eye strain and headaches as well.

When writing on paper, it’s much easier to take a look around, flick back through old notes and gain inspiration from what’s going on around us. Computers can also be a distraction because of the temptation to check up on your Facebook page, watch funny videos or chase other unproductive pursuits on the internet. When offline, it’s just you, your stationery and your surroundings, which you might find a quainter and more inspiring way to write.

For practicality, there’s no denying that word processing is the way to go, but there remains a lot to be said for ink and paper. Whichever method you chose, our Freelance Writing for Businesses and Business Blogging for Beginners diploma courses are packed with tips to help your writing hit the mark.

John Murray

Content Team Leader at Engage Web

Latest posts by John Murray (see all)

Categories: Writing

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