Hand Writing Vs Typing: Which is Better for Creativity?

Writing by hand or typing – which one is better for creativity? For the most part, it seems that writing by hand has been left in the past. Of course, typing is the easier option. It’s faster, simpler, and it comes with a range of benefits such as automatic spell checks. But is typing the best option when it comes to creativity?

Various studies have actually found that writing by hand uses large regions of the brain involved in thinking, language, and working memory. This means that your brain gets a workout when you write by hand and this is more likely to get the creative juices flowing. 

In this article, we will take a look at why writing by hand is better for creativity than typing. We will also take a look at some of the benefits of writing by hand and some of the benefits of typing. While writing by hand is better for creativity, typing also has many benefits. Read on to find out more about hand writing vs typing. 

Why is Hand Writing Better for Creativity?

Writing by hand feels much more special than typing. Typing is easy and efficient, but it can also be quite boring. When you physically write with a pen, you are more likely to absorb the information that you’re writing. All of your focus is on the task at hand and you’re more likely to trigger creative thoughts because the act of actively writing things down is much more conscious than simply typing things out. 

There is a lot of science to support the cognitive benefits of writing by hand. Putting pen to paper can use many more neurons in your brain. This helps you to retain the information and can enhance your memory. Not only that, but writing by hand can also make you much happier. 

A blank piece of paper can become anything. You can scribble, draw things, and write to your heart’s content. Writing by hand allows you to unleash everything onto the paper without any restrictions. Whatever pops into your mind can make its way onto the paper. 

When you type electronically, you are limited in terms of creativity. While you may be able to do some doodles and other things with certain applications or programs, it would take much longer to do this on a screen than to just get it all out on paper by hand. The lengthier process on the computer can put a dent in the creativity and may result in your losing some of your creative ideas. 

Benefits of Writing By Hand

There are many benefits of writing by hand. Some of the main benefits include the following:

  • Hand writing is useful for visual learners
  • Hand writing boosts the learning process
  • Writing by hand can be a work of art
  • Hand writing can help you to avoid distractions

Hand Writing Is Useful For Visual Learners

Writing by hand allows you to have the freedom to easily sketch anything you need to support the writing. You can add infographics, images, or word webs to help you with your writing. These non-traditional layouts can help you to put all of your thoughts onto the paper and visualize the connections with your thoughts. 

Hand Writing Boosts The Learning Process

According to psychological research, writing by hand can help with both memory and recall. Studies show that areas of the brain that are associated with comprehension and recall are much more engaged when notes are written down by hand with a pen and paper. 

Writing By Hand Can Be A Work Of Art

Many people like to make handwritten notes instead of computer notes because they are more aesthetically pleasing. If you have good calligraphy skills or very neat handwriting, hand written notes can give you an outlet to practice your hobby. Writing is simple, all you need is a pen and some paper to get creative with your writing and practice your skills. 

Hand Writing Can Help You To Avoid Distractions

Technology is very distracting and time-consuming. Writing requires a lot of focus and many writers can find it difficult to avoid distractions. Writing by hand away from your smartphone or computer screen is a great way for you to focus completely on the task at hand. 

Benefits of Typing

Although writing by hand helps us to be more creative, we can’t blow off typing as it does have a lot of benefits too. Below is a list of the benefits of typing:

  • Allows you to back up your work quickly
  • Good for multi-tasking and researching
  • Typing is better for work that needs certain formatting
  • Typing can help you to avoid hand cramps
  • Typing is fast and easy

Allows You To Back Up Your Work Quickly

Writing on a computer can provide you with a much more secure place to store your writing. Word processors give you various ways to back up your work and computers have very useful features such as storing files in the cloud. While working with pen and paper is a great way to ensure your work is as creative as possible, it also leaves you much more prone to losing your work. This is where typing has an advantage. 

Good For Multi-Tasking And Researching

Depending on the work you are completing, you may need to make various notes and multi-task. When you type notes on a computer you can have a separate window open for your research and this makes it much easier for you to type up the notes that you need. 

Typing Is Better For Work That Needs Certain Formatting

If you are working on a project that requires specific formatting, or if you need to hit a certain word count in your document, a computer allows you to keep track of these elements easily. 

Typing Can Help You To Avoid Hand Cramps

While carpal tunnel and posture problems can come up with typing, many people find that hand writing is much more physically demanding on your hands and fingers. Hand cramps can slow down the writing process and this can be a common issue for those who choose to hand write rather than type. 

Typing Is Fast And Easy

If you are pressed for time or have a deadline, typing can be very beneficial. Typing on a computer is a very fast process that allows you to get a lot of words down with minimal effort. Computer documents are also very easy to edit and often easier to read. 

Final Thoughts

As you can see, writing there are many benefits to both hand writing and typing. However, if you are looking for the most creative writing outlet, writing by hand has been proven to be the best option. 


Ol Adams

Letter Review is currently edited by Ol Adams, who is a PhD candidate in Creative Writing, casual academic, and guest lecturer at the University of New South Wales. Ol Adams has had short stories published in leading literary journals such as Overland, Southerly, Seizure, and TEXT. Ol has had novels long listed for major awards such as the KYDUMA, has received government funding to produce plays from Create NSW and screenplays from Screen NSW, and has performed / produced professional work at major theatrical venues such as the Sydney Opera House.