I am not a slave to this idea and I am not the first person to notice this but writing on paper before typing an idea up is helpful.
Sometimes this is because paper has no other agenda, no other distraction on offer, and so it is easier to sit quietly and focus on whatever I have been inspired to write.
Sometimes it is because the tactile experience is so delightful, the paper, the pen, the smell of ink, the sounds of a pen scratching gently and pages turning; for all its magic my Apple equipment simply cannot imitate these very well.
Sometimes it may be that I am something of an old soul who still remembers the first assignment I ever completed using a computer because that was novel at the time.
But the number one reason I often write by hand and then type something up is that the process slows me down and essentially forces me to edit. When I transfer a thought from the notebook to the computer I refine it, I make it better, I don’t mean spelling, I mean coherence of thought, transitions get smoother, better more precise words get selected, tone gets noticed and worked on. In short, I do not just end up with a better “product” but a more accurate one.
Why write about this on a blog about spiritual living? Because maybe some of us (myself included) would benefit from trying this with our journalling and/or prayer life. What if the thoughts we capture and the prayers we think and write, could benefit from the extra step of typing them up the next day?
I haven’t actually tried this but intuitively it seems like it might be worth the test. If you regularly journal or write prayers by hand, consider returning to them a day or two later to type up. I wonder what we might notice? Will we gain clarity of what God was trying to teach us? Will we better understand the needs and desires behind a certain payer we have offered?
It’s impossible to know without trying.
If you try it, please let me know if you learn anything in the process.