The Lost Art of Longhand, by Elayne Riggs

Elayne Riggs

Elayne Riggs is the creator of the popular blog Pen-Elayne on the Web. She was a founding member of Friends of Lulu, an organization dedicated to increasing the involvement of girls and women in comics, as readers and creators. She is married to inker Robin Riggs, with whom she shares two cats, and has odd love/hate relationship with Hillary Clinton.

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6 Responses

  1. Van Jensen says:

    Great post, Elayne. I’ve started writing rough drafts in longhand for a lot of the reasons you mentioned. One of the main benefits is the fact that it’s harder than writing on a computer, forcing me to give much more consideration to a sentence before penning it. Eventually, I’d like to pick up a typewriter and use that for first drafts, while still writing outlines in longhand.

    For fun, here’s a story from Slate about the incomprehensible penmanship of great writers:

  2. Kathy Pearlman says:

    I wrote an article about handwriting in 1999 in the Star-Ledger – I worked for several years as a drafter, just because I could print neatly. I still have legible handwriting… :-)

  3. mike weber says:

    Dory Previn was born left-handed.She wrote a song about it – as she wrote songs about all of her life, including the perfidy of young girls anmed Mia Farrow – that she introduces (on he "Live at Carnegie Hall" album):"I was born left-handed."But the nuns where I went to school said it wasn't right, and so they broke me of it."So now I'm right-handed, just like I'm supposed to be, and I'm fine."No, I'm fine."Really."The song, BTW, is called "Left Hand Lost."(I'm left-handed and wasn't forced to change, though i did learn to bat right-handed. Badly.)

  4. Marilee J. Layman says:

    I used to be completely ambidextrous and wrote beautifully with both hands, forward and backward, right-side up and upside down. Then in my first day job, I was a ward clerk at a hospital and the writing and signing of all the little papers back then turned my handwriting into stuff I can’t read after about three hours. And then the stroke made me not so good at things on the left side.

    If I have to fill forms out, I scan them into the computer and use the photo software to put text in the right places and print them out.

  5. Rick Taylor says:

    Our dads hand beautiful handwriting because penmanship was an important part of grade school for them.My Dad, even at age 81, has textbook perfect handwriting.

  6. Vinnie Bartilucci says:

    Wrestling legend Mick Foley wrote his first few books on a series of yellow legal pads in longhand, because he didn’t like using computers.

    And of course JK Rowling just raised many millions of dollars for charity with a few copies of hand-written storybooks she just made.

    So you’re in good modern company.