Handwriting for creativity and the brain

Image credit: Лариса Мозговая from Pixabay

Last week, I decided to start my morning pages again, practice I abandoned about 9 months ago. I always found it freed my creativity and I desperately need to get back to painting.

 

The act of writing really stimulates the brain and our thoughts suddenly line up. This brings clarity and focus.

 

Also, writing in the morning when getting up makes a big difference, especially if you feel frustrated about your day according to Julia Cameron who tells us in her book « The Artist’s Way » : « All the angry, whiny petty stuff that you write down in the morning stand between you and your creativity. Worrying about the job, the laundry, the funny knock in the car, the weird look in your lover’s eyes, this stuff eddies through our subconscious and muddies our days. Get it on the page. ”

 

What is important about the morning pages is to write them long hand instead of on the computer. As a matter of fact, I fell on something last week that spoke of the benefits of writing by hand instead of always using the computer and decided to do a little research on the subject.

 

So here are a few thoughts and benefits about writing by hand:

 

It seems that progress is slowly eliminating hand writing from our lives. Since the fall of 2016, Finland decided that school children did not need to write by hand anymore.

 

In the USA, at the start of the 2014 school year, 45 states decided that learning cursive writing (writing in attached letters) is no longer compulsory at school putting emphasis on mastery of keyboard and mouse by the end of elementary school. Since then, some states have reversed the decision and put cursive writing back on the program.

 

Some scientists now believe that children’s ability to write calligraphy letters is already lost. Some believe that writing by hand should be practiced at least once or twice a week in order to retain certain abilities.

 

Without cursive writing, motor skills and coordination deteriorate and we don’t read as well. Writing by hand activates certain areas of the brain responsible for language training and interpretation of sensations. These areas are not activated often enough when one no longer writes by hand. Similarly, the area of Broca which allows the assembly of letters into words and their understanding, a skill needed to be able to read and write, is activated during handwriting.

 

By reading only printed characters, the brain does not have to work as hard so therefore works less. When a child reads and writes by hand, he can understand how the letters are formed and can read handwritten text.

 

When we write only on the keyboard, we pay less attention to spelling, punctuation and grammar. This is sadly evident everywhere we look today, spelling, syntax and grammar errors are numerous and have become the norm in French. Automatic correction removes motivation to write well and to pay attention to these points.

 

Writing on a computer is like a stream of thoughts while handwriting is an elevated form of abstract thinking, making us think more broadly and engaging our abstract reasoning. We are better equipped to express your thoughts in words. Since you can change everything in an instant on the computer, there is no need to clarify your thinking at the same level as when writing by hand.

 

Writing by hand frees the imagination, removes limits. The perception of the subject is better when writing by hand than when using a keyboard. There is no reflection and synthesis when taking notes on the computer.

 

When I returned to school in my 40s, I took a “Back-to-school” course, and one of the most important things the teacher told us was to take our notes by hand. Memory is activated when taking handwritten notes. When we reread them, everything comes back to us with more precision and details that we can then add to our notes. When you take notes on the computer, there is no separation between the relevant information and everything that is said, learning and memory deteriorate.

 

In conclusion, we think that progress makes us move forward, but sometimes it is the opposite. Just as some updates slow down the computer, this step takes away some important and useful skills needed throughout our lives.

 

Few things have as much impact on the brain as handwriting.

 

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Enviroart par Suzanne Bélair

 

 

8 Comments

  1. There us so much merit to your post Suzanne – thank you again for your inspiring posts and sharing invaluable information.
    I want to send a pic of my ‘hand-written’ comment 😉

  2. Interesting information here! I write all my first drafts of stories and novels by hand. It’s easier to keep going that way. The stark black on white text in a computer document can get one bogged down in revising rather than writing new material.

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