Writing Tip # 3: Write by hand & copy the best.
Another WRITING TIP. ✨✨✨
Let your hands do the learning.
When you write down another person’s words, by hand (not on a keyboard), you catch a glimpse of the way they think. It can be awakening and inspiring.
Handwriting vs Typing
“While typing may be faster and more convenient, research shows that handwriting has its own unique advantages.
Effective Memory Recall
“Though a little more time consuming, there are many benefits of handwriting your notes. Longhand notes allow for better short- and long-term memory recall because they contain your own words and handwriting. These can serve as effective memory cues by recreating the context and content from the original lecture or meeting.
“When you write things out, you create spatial relations between each bit of information you’re recording. Handwriting activates parts of your brain involved in thinking and working memory, and allows you to store and manage information. The movement associated with the pen and your hand can help you encode and retain information long-term.
Sharpened Critical Thinking
“Comparing handwriting vs. typing, you’re more exposed to critical thinking when you write by hand than when you type. Handwriting allows you to think more thoroughly about the information you’re recording. It encourages you to expand upon your thoughts and form connections between them.
Stronger Conceptual Understanding
“When you write your notes by hand, you develop a stronger conceptual understanding than by typing. Since handwriting is slower and more tedious, it makes it harder to take notes verbatim. Therefore you have to actually process the information and summarize it in a way that makes sense for you.
“This illustrates one of the other benefits of handwriting vs. typing. Handwriting forces your brain to mentally engage with the information, improving both literacy and reading comprehension. On the other hand, typing encourages verbatim notes without giving much thought to the information. This mindless transcription can lead to a lack of meaningful understanding and application of the information, although you may be able to type more words quickly.”
Copying the work of others for the purpose of study
Copying master drawings is something many visual artists, for hundreds of years, have incorporated into their studies. Why? Because it is an excellent way to closely evaluate and learn about the best artwork. It was a widespread method used during the 16th and 17th centuries. It’s not plagiarism, as long as you don;t claim the work as your own.
Just as visual artists can benefit from copying the masters, so can writers. Choose your favourite writers and copy out (by hand) a few paragraphs from their work. It will make you think differently, and it’s a valuable tool for aspiring writers.