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When do you write by hand? (1 Viewer)


Senior Member
I didn't see anywhere else that this thread would fit, so I've put it here. While I like my word processor for most of my writing, if it's personal then I like to write by hand. This is especially true if I want to try my hand at poetry. In fact I'm really an iconoclast since I use a fountain pen. Just wondering how many kindred souls are around.

One more question, where can I find decent affordable writing paper in the US? It used to be you had an entire aisle in almost any store filled with legal pads and notebooks. Most of them had really nice paper. Now if you can find anything, it's thin course junk. I love using legal pads, but I can't find them anymore.

I know I'm weird, I love books, especially old ones. I also love ink, pens and paper. I just wish I wasn't so broke, I would love to get a Pelikan 205, or the Montegrappa Elmo.
Hi, you're not alone - I write everything by hand and have gone through almost a dozen notebooks (I like moleskins) on my current project...and I use a fountain pen! The refillable kind - you know, the one that gets ink all over your fingers?
Once my first written draft is done I then type it up on Word to make it pretty (and legible). When I first started, I wrote directly onto Word but then disaster struck and the first 5 chapters were lost due to a synching error and I had to start from scratch. Since then I write everything down in hard format, the good, old fashioned way.


Senior Member
I haven't had problems with pens leaking, filling them is another matter. My everyday writer is a TWISBI Eco. I have a Monteverde, a Chinese pen (Jinho maybe?) and a Parker button filler that needs a new sack. I keep a daily journal and for that I special ordered notebooks that have sugar cane based paper. The new ones have a problem with the paper is too thin and so the ink bleeds through a bit. Staples used to have some really nice ones that didn't bleed.


Handwriting can be really helpful for me to get initial ideas down, the process seems to help me to think differently than typing. However, I don't want to get so enamored of my early efforts that I might have a hard time editing them or changing them completely. So I use a black Bic pen and a composition notebook from the dollar store. My current notebook has a lizard on the front featuring a clearance-sale sticker across its snout.

Wal-mart should have legal pads if you're looking for them, so does Amazon.


Senior Member
Only at work, when conditions prevent me from accessing a computer (i work in the military). My handwriting is too terrible for anyone to read but me.


Staff member
The last time I attempted a handwritten story was before my first computer, and I got my first computer in 1979.


Staff member
Global Moderator
Whoa...you have expensive taste!

I love to write by hand. But indeed I like a nice pen as well. I coveted a Montblanc for many years, but finally opted for a less expensive Cleo. I got it online, on sale, but it is gorgeous! All white with 14K gold plated trim. I got the matching pencil because sometimes I like the softer feel of lead. I keep them in a brown leather pouch.

I use to write in bound notebooks, but then progressed to notepads. But now I use loose leaf and a three-ring binder. That way, I can remove a page that didn't work. I love the feeling of scrunching it up and throwing it across the room, perhaps trying to sink it in a nearby container. Also it allows me to write different parts of the story and insert where needed.



Senior Member
I'm thinking about making my own writing pads. I used Illustrator and made my own college ruled writing paper. It allowed me to use the laser/inkjet copy paper and I really like a #24, or #28 paper weight with a 96 brightness. If I get some padding cement and chipboard backers I can make my own pads. I'm finding that as I develop as a writer, I'm gravitating back to my old methods. I liked to take notes by hand surrounded by my research materials. Then I would make my outline and then I would type it into the computer. Granted this was when I was in the pulpit, or teaching a Sunday School class. Now I'm writing books, so just a written form of what I would say verbally. People think I'm nuts because I care about paper, ink, printer and pen choice.

I just find writing by hand seems to engage my brain a little bit more. It also seems to help me focus. I have read research that playing a musical instrument and writing by hand makes you smarter because it engages both halves of the brain at the same time as well as the connections between the hemispheres. I need all the help I can get.


I used to write by hand almost exclusively. It was kinda my thing. Nothing fancy though. Just a simple college ruled notebook and a regular old clicky pen. However, while I will sometimes start a piece in a notebook still, I find it far more beneficial to work on a computer. I used to be a big proponent of the "write first, then edit" style of creating things, but I actually end up with a much more solid piece of work if I edit as I go. And I find editing within a word processor much more productive than doing it on paper.

To each their own though. Whatever helps you get the words out is the way you should write.


WF Veterans
My one and only pen is tied to a piece of string that hangs from my calender on the wall with big squares to write stuff...went doctors..bought LP and book..etc....the pen has so far seen of 5 calenders +


Writing by hand has never been my thing. I've done it, on occasions were a word processor was not readily available, but for me the lack of efficiency will always be the downfall of writing. I can type far quicker than I can write, and do so without encountering any pain in my hands, and if I make a mistake, I simply backspace and fix it without the mess of scribbling out.

Plus, the redundancy of the whole thing is rather off-putting. Having to write something twice is not my idea of productiveness. And no modern publisher will accept hand-written manuscripts, so at some point you will have to write it all out on a word processor anyway.

In that case, for me at least, just write it on the word processor and cut out the redundancy.

Phil Istine

WF Veterans
I only write by hand when I'm out and about working. I drive between jobs and am self-employed, so if an idea pops into my head or I want to explore one further, I sit in my van with pen and pad.