Writing by hand or jotting down an idea or two in a journal can seem like a lost art in our tech-infused world. It used to be that the most creative among us would keep a blank journal handy at all times, even at bedside, just in case an idea popped into one's head. Jotting down an idea or a favored phrase quickly was a way to preserve it before it left the mind and the room forever.
Today, those journals have been replaced by phones, tablets and other marvels of the modern world. Yet, some still cling to the physical writing of ideas because it makes them think differently. The many benefits of writing by hand are well known to those who still favor this age-old tradition.
The tactility of writing ideas and thoughts down requires the brain to engage the ideas differently. Focus on and retention of what is written physically expands, while the ability to make creative connections to unassociated ideas grows in unison. By expressing our thoughts through physical writing, we imprint the ideas on the mind, saving them for another day. No wonder so many famous scientists write by hand to solve their gnarliest problems.
Great thinkers create their own clarity and learn by writing. Writing by hand, they tell us, is a self-portrait of how we think and remember. Escape the modern world and jot down a few ideas and thoughts on occasion. Have a conversation with yourself. A relationship with your own mind is a grand thing, and it starts with a pen in your hand.