I know what you are thinking … Yet, another plugin… Oops (too much WordPress) I mean … Yet, another article about the benefits of writing. Well, you are right but not any “writing”, what I am going to talk about here is handwriting.
Let me tell you a little story …
During my first year of university, I decided to go to China one year later for a one-year exchange programme at Xiamen University. While I was certain about my desire to go there, I didn’t really know what I would be doing after my Bachelor’s degree.
Do a gap year? Do a master’s degree? If so, where? in Paris, Lyon, Toulouse, Lille? Would I be able to apply while being in China? What if I am not selected to go to China? Needless to say, 100 questions went across my mind. It was very foggy and I didn’t know where to start.
A bit later, I figured that “thinking” about it for hours won’t help my situation. I grabbed a piece of paper and started to think about my plan. Plan A, Plan B, Plan C, … It became so clear!
I also had a classmate last year who drew mind maps to prepare for upcoming final exams. It was for him the most effective way to learn.
Still not convinced?
According to Virginia Berninger’s research from the University of Washington, children who used handwriting had an improved memory as well as we’re thinking and talking more clearly thanks to the activation of the neural system in charge of short-term memory and information management. They also knew more words, could write faster and thus, express more easily their thoughts. She said that this is mainly due to the fact that when we use our hands, we have to write step-by-step, stroke after stroke.
Hand note takers tended to rephrase instead of paraphrasing their professor’s lecture Handwriting also has benefits for adults and young adults. Pam Mueller and Daniel Oppenheimer found in their study two years ago that students taking handwritten notes were actually performing better at school. Hand note takers tended to rephrase instead of paraphrasing their professor’s lecture which led to a better understanding of the notes.
If you are currently trying to learn a “visual” language such as Chinese, Arabic, or Korean, you may consider writing the characters by hand. In fact, according to a 2008 study from the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, handwriting facilitates adult’s reading of characters such as symbols, music notes or language characters.
Writing in a journal can reduce stress, anxiety, encourage problem-solving, enables us to learn… You may also have heard about the benefits of journaling. Studies suggest that writing in a journal can reduce stress, anxiety, encourage problem-solving, enables us to learn more about ourselves, and thus to gain more clarity.
Handwriting in a notebook also offers additional benefits such as:
- The opportunity to have a nice notebook you can feel and touch
- You can go stationery shopping
- You can bring your notebook with you, anywhere
- You can choose the size you want: small, big, closed cover, fully open, …
- You can write anywhere, you just need a pen
- It is your private world, your private space (if not placed on top of your desk 🙂 )
- When you get older, you can look at your stack of 30 notebooks …
- You can paste or include some souvenirs such as pictures, quotes or even some sprayed fragrance
To conclude, writing for clarity is better when done for personal or draft purposes. Writing is the first step to delivering an efficient message. I invite you to read this great article titled ” Clear writing means clear thinking means …” written by Marvin Swift for Harvard Business Review.