The Benefits of Slow Writing: Writing vs. Typing by Annmaire Miles

The Long & The Short of it by Annmarie MilesLet’s welcome back monthly columnist Annmaire Miles as she shares with us about “The Benefits of Slow Writing: Writing vs. Typing.” Enjoy!


If you visit my blogs you’ll find that it’s been a little while since I’ve written for either of them. I’m a firm believer in writing something every day and would not encourage anyone to put their pen down for a few weeks just for the sake of it.

However, during April we moved into our new apartment. It was a crazy busy time, with all our belongings coming out of storage, boxes everywhere, and a missing laptop for a few days. (Thankfully, found in a suitcase of clothes.) The combination of moving and losing the laptop, and the internet for a couple of weeks, forced me to put the blogging and most other writing to one side. When I did start again, I was left with just my pen and a couple of notebooks.

Now, my handwriting is fine for a couple of sentences; after that you’d need to be fluent in hieroglyphics to understand what I’ve written. (There are times when I’ve needed a crash-course myself.) Handwriting stuff has been painstaking. I’ve had to slow down, so I can read it back later.

We’re almost settled in and we’re back online. Nevertheless, rather than rushing back to the laptop, I’m sticking with pen and paper for a time. It’s meant that my online presence is a bit hit-and-miss recently, so I’d better make an appearance soon. I am enjoying the time out, and feeling the benefits.

No online distractions.
Even if you disable all pop ups and alerts, it’s still very easy to decide on a quick check of Facebook between paragraphs, only to find you’ve nothing written an hour later. No such distractions with pen and paper.

It’s better for the brain
I’ve read a number of articles that say writing is a better cognitive exercise than typing. We use both sides of our brain when handwriting, making our brains work harder. Memory and motor function work together. It keeps us calm while sharpening our minds at the same time. 

You get to keep your edits
When typing, I backspace and change things quickly; it usually means that I never remember the original version. I read back what I’m writing now and I can see the terms or sentence structure I’ve changed, sometimes twice or three times. I’m now taking some time to stop – just to consider which is version is better, and why I changed it.

It takes more time and it takes more work – and that’s a good thing
In most cases, writing that takes longer and requires more effort is going to be better. Slower writing has led to slower thinking. My writing is more considered and I know I’ve ended up better first drafts.

I really don’t like leaving my blog unattended, but I want to spend more time just writing for me. Stuff no one else will read until I’ve worked on it some more. I would love to hear your thoughts on handwriting v.s typing. There are a whole host of blog posts out there on the subject. But every writer is different and has a different experience of both. We’d really love to hear from you, so do drop a comment below.

I’m off back to my notebook…



Annmarie Miles - AuthorAnnmarie Miles, part time writer, full time believer is 40something, Irish, Christian, married, and proud to be all of those things. She loves words, music & chocolate! You can find out all about her and her book “The Long & The Short of It” at the new website:
Where to find Annmarie:
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Twitter: @amowriting
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