The act of writing triggers complex processes in our brain involving both the right hemisphere of our brain (associated with creativity, imagination and intuition) and the left hemisphere (associated with logical thinking, language and writing).
In order to write, we need to convert the things we imagine into a visible record. We process our thoughts and ideas, make decisions and re-generate them in a visual way on the page. In doing so, we create something tangible that has permanence, and we send a powerful signal to ourselves and our own minds that we are serious, that this is important to us and worthy of our focus.
The benefits are even more powerful when we write with a pen and paper rather than typing on a keyboard or electronic device. Recent studies comparing handwriting with mechanised forms of writing suggest that we remember information better when we write by hand – this is especially true of concepts and ideas.
Writing by hand is a physical and sensory experience that is very different from typing on a keyboard. We feel the writing surface and make decisions about how we represent our thoughts.
Handwriting involves neuro-sensory experiences and fine motor skills, and offers us improved creativity, critical thinking and problem-solving skills
Writing by hand can help us to:
Clarify what we really want
Focus our mind on the things that matter to us
Articulate thoughts and feelings
Work through failures and setbacks
Change our mindset and behaviour
Feeling the writing surface, holding the writing instrument and directing precise movements with thoughts, gives our goal setting permanence and tells the world that we mean business.
Keeping a journal, diary or writing down our plans and goals every day in a notebook can help us to clarify our thoughts and help us to achieve short, medium and long-term goals that lead to positive changes in our lives.