Five Reasons to Hand-write your First Draft

With technology being at our fingertips, most writers have exchanged pen and paper with keyboards. However, there are a few of us old-school writers out there who maintain handwritten drafts. Here are 5 reasons why you should handwrite your first draft:

1. Handwrite Your First Draft to Quiet the Inner Editor

Sometimes as you re-read your previous work at the start of a writing session, you start to notice something. Before you know it, all your allocated time has been dedicated to rewriting the same piece over and over. By handwriting your draft, you can turn to a clean page and not have to worry about that inner editor.

2. Handwrite Your First Draft for ‎Less Distractions (no Internet)

The internet is the easiest way to get distracted. You might be reading this instead of writing.

However, while writing on a computer, I get compelled to look up the etymology of certain words. Instead on paper, if I need to remember to research something, I can jot a note on the side margin of my notebook to look up later.

3. Handwrite Your First Draft to ‎Establish a Hard Copy

Every writer fears the dreaded blue screen of death of their computer. We can be writing when all of a sudden our computer reboots before we had the chance to save our changes.

By having my first draft written out, I have a hard copy that can be transposed into the computer. Two copies of my manuscript both hard copy and electronic ensures I have a better chance of saving me from rage-inducing headaches from a lost manuscript.

4. Handwrite Your First Draft to be Wireless and Portable

Having a notebook and pen is free from cords, batteries dying and the need for a WiFi connection. You can write anywhere.

‎5. Handwrite Your First Draft to Promote Free form Writing

If you’re not familiar with freeform writing, aka pantser, I refer you to my discussion post Plotter and Panster.

My pen is able to flow freely. By doing this, I am able to write higher word counts all the while, focusing on being present in the story. Could you do this on the computer? Sure. But having to not worry about typos brings me peace.

I encourage you to try and write out your next scene on paper to see if you experience any of these perks.

Post your comments and answers below. If you think someone has an interesting point of view and answer, please invite them or share this post with them.

#DWTSmith #firstdraft

pen and paper

11 thoughts on “Five Reasons to Hand-write your First Draft

  1. Weird stuff, but I teach/tutor writing so I think about these things too much:

    Writing non-fiction, I can sit with my research notes (and possibly an outline), type away, and knock out 10-20 pages in a couple hours.

    But, for fiction, handwriting tends to flow better for me. That said, I’m currently writing fiction in the iOS Notes app on my phone, at 900+ words, plus character info, a touch of world info, and some bare plot notes (and regularly emailing it to my gmail). It’s an interesting experiment.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Don’t stop what’s working! I think fiction (fantasy) writing, it flows better for me. I’ve tried that but it didn’t work. Good luck with it and thank you for sharing 😃


  2. “You might be reading this instead of writing.”


    … okay, so you might have a point.

    I actually write partially by hand, but I always type it up at the end of the day (and edit it at the same time). I find that the words flow easier that way, but I also get the chance to look at it objectively as I type it up and tweak things here and there. I’ve actually got my notebook open in front of me now while I work, in case something comes to me and I can jot it down. xD If I end up staring at my cursor blinking for too long, I close it down and just write by hand. Especially having ADHD, I find that helps me focus and not get distracted so easily.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am glad someone brought that up!
      My old tutor did that for his thesis, I tried it for a bit but I couldn’t keep up with the consistency of editing in the afternoons. I moved onto, hand-writing the whole novel then move back and type/ edit it.
      I glad to see you are doing what works for you 😃

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post. I always hand write huge chunks for my first draft, though I don’t really count it as the full first draft until I’ve typed it up and given it some order (sometimes I write out of sequence). I totally agree that writing by hand offers less distraction, more chances to scribble a few lines without having to load up/carry a laptop around. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • At times, I have to take a break from hand-writing because I get cramps!
      Spell check and Grammarly have helped the editing stages so much! Thank you for commenting 😃


  4. I’m a Pantser and hand-wrote most of my first draft. But, I got lazy, and as my draft continued, got caught in the dreaded computer trap. Because of this article I’m going back to handwriting. Thank you for a great article.

    Liked by 1 person

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