Bloggers, by their very nature, are sat in front of their computer typing away. However, new research from the University of Washingston suggests that if blog writers were to use their pen, instead of the keyboard, their writing would improve. It appears that we use different brain processes when we type compared with the way our brain works when we use the keyboard.
The study was admittedly looking at primary school children, but it showed clearly that when the youngsters used a pen they wrote more than when they used a keyboard. They were also faster at pen-based writing than using the keyboard. Of course, as we grow and use keyboards more, that could well change and for adults it may be faster to type than use a pen to write.
However, speed of production was not the real finding in this study. What is important is the creative aspect. Writing with a pen led to more words, more quickly. In other words, the children were able to convert what was in their head to something on paper more easily with a pen than they were with the keyboard. Brain imaging studies have also shown that when we have to form the letters of a word by drawing them out with a pen, our brain engages with the process more than when we simply have to select the letters from a keyboard.
What’s also interesting in this new research is the fact that children with “transcription disability” – a learning problem associated with writing – were also better with the pen than the keyboard. This implies that no matter what our writing skills, we are likely to be better with a pen.
So it all begs the question – how do you put your blog together? Or how do you write your articles for your web site? It may well be that you will be more creative and faster to produce the material if you write with pen first – and then merely copy-type it later on. Even if this seems a dual process and will take extra time, the advantage is that your thinking will be more creative and your blog will improve as a result.
Throughout the Internet there are countless examples of poorly written blogs – millions of them…! It may well improve the blogging landscape if bloggers all wrote with pen and paper first, rather than the keyboard. Of course, you don’t have to use paper; you can use pen-based input devices such as those from Wacom or Ritescript. In this way, you can hand-write material which is then converted into type in front of your very eyes…! Using such devices means your blogs could well be better written, more creative and thoughtful and possibly faster to produce than when you use a keyboard.
Many online writers find they sit in front of a blank screen, waiting for inspiration to strike. This new research suggests our ability to write is enhanced when we use a pen. It may well be that your speed of blogging could be improved if you use pen-based input, rather than a keyboard.
Graham Jones is an Internet Psychologist who studies the way people use the online world, in particular how people engage with businesses. He uses this knowledge to help companies improve their online connections to their customers and potential customers and offers consultancy, workshops, masterclasses and webinars. He also speaks regularly at conferences and business events. Graham is an award-winning writer and the author of 32 books, several of which are about various aspects of the Internet. For more information connect with me on Google+