Writing longhand

Hello, dear reader. It’s a day of heavy topics. It’s only been half a day and I’ve already read three serious posts on WordPress reader. Mine is kind of one too.

I ask you to, for a minute, just settle down on a seat and stare at the wall, the furniture, or if you’re outside, look at your surroundings. Don’t judge, don’t make remarks at what you see in your mind. Just observe, let your surroundings sink into you. Become one with it. What thoughts run in your head? And I’m talking about the serious topics, not your to-do lists.

Now, I ask you to spare a few minutes, as many as you can today, whenever you’re free, to pick up a pen and press down the nib on paper.

Today, most of us are far more comfortable typing than writing long hand. But what we do not realise, is that when you type the technology corrects you, you find yourself hitting back space a lot of times and you keep trying to refine your writing on the first try.

But when you write with ink, on real paper, your writing is raw and much more real. The words flow out of you and your hand continues moving, the pages get filled with scribbles. You don’t like what you wrote? You strike it off once and continue. This is the first try and it doesn’t matter because its marked in ink and there is no backspace.

Every time when I’ve discussed about matters close to heart before, recollecting memories or pouring out confessions on the blog, a few too many times I’ve typed sentences about what I feel and erased it. A couple times I’ve typed paragraphs into a post only to trash it later because I keep having second thoughts about putting it out to the world.

There is no such feeling with writing long hand. You write it down and it’s not something that you started with the intention of posting it. When you write something, it’s yours until you’re confident with it and type it out again. Once you’re done, you can fold it eight times and hide it in one of your old boxes in between pages of a book that only you read. You could cram it in the back of a bookshelf, away from everyones eyes or under a pile of things in your drawer, if that writing is so personal. But let me tell you, if you’ve poured your heart out, you would not want to tear it up and trash it. In technology click a couple buttons and poof! It’s gone. One second of indecision makes all of it disappear. Not the case when you’ve written on something tangible.

I used to have journals from 6th to 9th grade. I stopped since 10th. Lately, this blog has become like my journal. I type out something, tapping the letters at a high frequency and by the time I notice, 500 words are on the draft. I reread the whole thing and before I know it I’m making changes, erasing, cutting, rewriting, rephrasing. By the time I’m done editing, the writing doesn’t feel as close to my heart anymore. It does have emotion but its refined, not raw from the heart.

When I go through my old journals again, I can see the gramatical mistakes, the sentence trip-ups, excessive whining (way more than required or appropriate), all of that only makes it more meaningful to me. Don’t get me wrong, putting out my thoughts to other people who might or might not feel the same is something that I’ve come to love. But sometimes, I want to write for myself, not caring whether what I’m writing is structured, under one topic, too small or too big. Then I want to save it and read it someday in the future, holding the paper or book in my hands, not through a screen where if I run my hands over the words, the article shifts.

Therefore, I want you to feel that too. Sit down were you’re comfortable. Write down what you feel. Keep pouring out words made out of the same letters. Don’t care how it reads or anything. Just write. I hope you feel it too.


3 thoughts on “Writing longhand”

  1. Oddly enough, I had the same on my mind this morning before reading your post! I used to keep handwritten diaries but when I realized they were taking up too much space, I switched to Word files. Lack of physical space is a valid concern, especially once you start getting older. You can’t keep all of those things and it might be less of a regret if some never existed in the first place. However, I still have those older diaries to look at (in all their messy glory), even if later ones are now on my hard drive!

    I had a lot to write in my diary this morning and I did a lot of what you are talking about — the correcting, deleting, refining. I don’t regret it, because what I’m left with is all of me, deletions included. I don’t need to repeat myself and so it’s better to cut some lines as, chances are, I’ve said it a multitude of times elsewhere. It’s unsettling when you read your words of five years ago and your mind is running on the same worries! Nowadays I enjoy the refining part, and it’s calming in it’s own way.

    I have both worlds really; the old and the new. It doesn’t need to be all one way or the other. See… starting to repeat myself!

    I enjoyed your article and welcomed the chance to think this out a bit more, because I did wonder “which is really me… the edited or the unedited??”

    Hope you have a good day!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sometimes the space constriction is a problem fir me too, especially since I’m a teenager and hiding my diaries from my mum is hard when she pokes around everywhere being a usual mom. I had started an internet diary a few years back but I just wasn’t feeking it so after a few entries I abandoned it. I’ve not yet got to the part where I like my refined thoughts, when I read something that I wrote only for me I prefer it be messy and in a weird flow, how I think in my brain.

      Thanks for commenting, I didn’t really expect any discussion on this post. I hope you have a great day, too!

      Liked by 1 person

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