5 Reasons you should hand write your first draft

June 19, 2016

You did it! You have outlined, mapped your characters and are ready to go with your novel. Now, what’s the best way to write it? Here are some reasons why I recommend good old paper and pen before you jump to the computer! 

I have been writing since I was a child. In fact, I wrote my first novel at ten years old (unpublished). Until about ten years ago, my favorite way to write was on paper. I can honestly say that my productivity had and did suffer from it. With the constant distractions like social media, emails and (in my case) shopping. It wasn’t until recently that I decided to “get back to basics” and I can say that not only has my productivity increased but so has my creativity!

I’m back, baby! 

Let’s dig into my 5 reasons you should be writing on paper…

1.Boost your creativity!

There are so many distractions out there that can be creativity suckers. Namely, Facebook, Twitter and other online distractions. Speaking for myself, I am an emotional writer, so how I feel can have a huge impact on what and how I write. I can be in a great mood, log on to FB and my timeline is filled to the brim with the latest political issue or someone arguing with their partner and BAM! My mood takes a nosedive.

2. Margin notes 

I don’t know about you guys but when I am writing my brain is firing off all types of extra deliciousness that I have to save before it’s gone! I will often jot the notes down in the margins so I can stay in the moment of what i’m writing. Plus, the notes are right there where you can find them when it’s time to do your re-writes.

3. No self-editing distraction

When writing by hand you don’t have access to those pesky delete and backspace keys. I am a homeschool mom and I encourage what I call “free writing”. That is where you write in ink pen and do not correct yourself as you write your first draft. This allows your brain to create freely. I do allow scratchthroughs. That’s it. No correcting your spelling, grammar and punctuation. Just write. I know, it sounds really hard to do, and it is, but with time you’ll be doing it with no problem. If you are stuck on something, stick a post it there and move on.


I am a notebook and ink pen junkie! I have been since a kid. There is just something about buying and using a pretty notebook and your favorite pen that is such a brain stimulator. I even change the color pens i’m using while I write. I know, it may sound weird to some but I sometimes correspond the different color pens to a certain mood, character or event. It helps keep things exciting for me. (Also, gives me reasons to buy more pens.)

Not to mention, notebooks are much lighter to carry than laptops or tablets. 😉

5. Be like the greats!

In my opinion, writing on paper takes me back to when I was a child. I’d lay across my bed or plop down in my favorite chair with my pens and a stack of paper. It bring up such wonderful memories and really connects me to the story and the characters. Also, it makes me feel like i’m amongst many of the great writers of now and even the in the past that wrote longhand. Just a few authors that choose to still write out their first drafts are Quentin Tarantino, Amy Tan and Danielle Steele.

Are you ready to ditch the screen for your first draft? Do you already do it? Tell me all about it in the comments below or connect with me on Facebook! 

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