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WWFC: Back to basics

Christmas this year brought an abundance of writing goodies to the Schroeder household, including a few new mechanical pencils, a couple mugs, and a new desk that separated me from the pandemonium of the kitchen upstairs. My favorite gift, however, was my grandmother’s old typewriter: a Royal brand from 1957.

Of course, following the obvious squeals of delight and numerous “thank yous” I gave, I immediately wanted to try it out. So, pulling out a piece of blank paper and sliding it in to the platen, I began to type. It was slow-going at first, as some of the keys stuck and the ribbon was old and probably needed to be replaced. After a couple minutes of struggling, though, I was finally able to make out the letters as I typed them and begin a short poem.

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I didn’t finish the poem, mainly because of my frustrations at the obstinate “G” key that stuck whenever I pressed it. The short stint of clicking away on a typewriter, however, reminded me of a fact I had once read. According to a 2013 article in Psychology Today, the act of writing something by hand activates a larger area of the brain than does typing, allowing one to recall what they wrote easier and think of more creative ideas.

In this age of technology, we can get so wrapped up in the speed and accessibility of a keyboard and screen that we unknowingly abandon pen and paper. When we write on pen and paper, however, our brain naturally thinks more creatively and our ideas are more unique. We can work past writer’s block faster and find it easier to ignore distractions around us with the focus required of our brain. While its faster, easier, and more convenient to type what we want to say, it can sometimes be better to write it instead.

So, reader, I have a challenge for you. The next time you want to write something, actually write it—in a notebook, on a post-it, or even on your hand. You don’t have to start a new story and you can type your piece up later if you really want to, but try and scribble the words onto paper instead of onto a screen. It might just give you the idea you’ve been searching for all along.

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“Walking in the warmth of the summer air and seeing the animals romping around carelessly, I quickly abandoned my dismal mood for the peaceful atmosphere around me. As I shook the last of the depressing thoughts from my mind, I noticed the splatter of colors just over the hill standing out against the long green grass. I shifted the halter on my shoulder, taking hold of the buckle to keep it from jangling as I scanned the horses for Legs’ familiar grey-flecked coat. It didn’t take long for me to spot her among the other dark and multi-colored coats, and before long I had clipped the halter around her head and steered her back in the direction of the barn.

“On my way up, I passed Jessica in her search for Hootie, Paisli walking beside her and chatting as they searched. I flashed her a quick smile before turning back toward the barn, listening to their gabbing voices fade in the background until they were all but replaced by the sounds of our cushioned footfalls on the soft ground.

“Finally, we reached the barn, Isabelle holding the gate open for me as I led Legs into her stall and tied her up. ‘Thanks,’ I said appreciatively, looping the lead rope around a nearby post and making a quick knot to secure it there.

“‘No problem,’ she said, disappearing into the tack room to find Colby.”

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By Nicole Schroeder

 

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