Thursday, November 12, 2020

Barack Obama, writing by hand

Barack Obama, in “an adapted and updated excerpt” from A Promised Land, his forthcoming memoir:

I still like writing things out in longhand, finding that a computer gives even my roughest drafts too smooth a gloss and lends half-baked thoughts the mask of tidiness.
His tools of choice: a pen and a legal pad.

One great mistake in college comp classes: equating writing with word processing.

Related reading
Obama revisions : OCA posts about writing by hand

comments: 4

Fresca said...

"The mask of tidiness"---oh, yeah, do I recognize that.
When I was a new proofreader, the managing editor took me aside and told me I had to get over the habit of trusting words because they were in print.
That takes some doing--even when we knew they were written by our own little selves.

Handwriting doesn't cause that problem.

Michael Leddy said...

Yep. I used to tell students, again and again, that writing is not word processing. So many students said their writing went much better when they started on paper.

Anonymous said...

In the summer classes I taught, I could always tell which students had written their essays or papers on a computer and didn't print them out to proofread before turning them in.

I love writing by hand! I think Shelby Foote wrote by hand all of his million words on the Civil War.


Michael Leddy said...

Funny you should mention him: here’s a post that notes his use of a dip pen. (The link though is long gone.)

Kirsten, have you ever thought about starting a blog? You’d have so much to offer.