Does What You Write Dictate How You Write?

beth crosby

By Beth Crosby
Rock Hill Chapter

We are writers. We use our minds and our experiences to communicate, persuade, teach, and share. The way we write, activates different skills and different parts of the brain.

As I type this blog, I ponder what difference it makes whether I type, print, write in cursive or talk to text my thoughts. Generally, I type works to be published by handwrite in barely legible cursive the thoughts my soul dares to bare.  Maybe that stems from tenth grade economics when I wrote nearly illegibly to keep Craig, the guy behind me, from cheating off of my paper. Could it be I still write cursive poorly because I don’t want people to know my “answers” or maybe my deepest questions? Maybe I am in too big of a hurry to get it all on paper to take the time to form each letter well. A June 2, 2014, “New York Times” article, “What’s Lost as Handwriting Fades” reports that the efficiency of (adults) typing might diminish our ability to process new information.

Were you like me in taking notes during school? Write only on the right side of the notebook to leave the left (facing) page for questions that arise when you review the notes? Sometimes, I wrote too fast to complete the thought. Other times, what I wrote made no sense. And then—there were the times I could barely make out my writing. But hearing, writing and reviewing before bedtime was sufficient for learning the materials.  Hmmmm.

Here’s a funny truth. I am writing about this topic both for you and a column in “YC Magazine”. I had read the article referenced above on Facebook and went back to find it when the topic of handwriting cropped up again and again. As I studied the article, I took notes in a notebook for future reference. Honestly, I considered copying and pasting relevant facts. But somehow, I needed to write, to absorb, and to study what I read. To paraphrase the article, I processed the article’s contents and reframed it, engaging a process that can lead to better understanding and memory encoding.

From that, I deduced that when I write from my heart and flood a page with my emotions, I don’t need to process and reframe. What tumbles out is earnest, unedited and unguarded. But what I write for publication is generally a well-considered attempt to put forth a knowledgeable and cogent piece based on fact. To do that, I read, take notes, process, reframe and share what I learned and know.

I would love to know your thoughts on how you write – pen, pencil, print, cursive or type, and why!

However you write, “first (it’s) one word, then another”. So I hope to see you in Camden September 26!


Beth Crosby is a freelance writer and editor based in Rock Hill, SC. You may contact her at

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