July 4, 2018

Should you write things out by hand?

We were talking in my Writer’s Circle last week about the best process for drafting emails.

“I love to draft things out by hand,” David said. “Do you recommend that?”

I actually love drafting things out by hand. All my business planning – if you can call it that – gets done that way. Every print newsletter begins life as a pen and paper outline. I’ll often journal by hand and take a photo to store in Evernote. I love to go to a coffee shop or a bar, and spend an hour or two mapping out important stuff.

But it’s pretty rare an email will begin life on pen and paper.

The big problem is digitising your scrawl into a usable format. I have typical ‘boy’ handwriting. Spidery, scrawly, hard to read by anyone or anything except me. I’m nearly always writing against the clock in some way, so digitising my scrawl is a luxury I don’t have, or don’t see sufficient benefit in.

It’s worth noting though how your writing changes based on the media and writing implements you use. An email written in fountain pen will be more considered than an email written in biro. An email written on a 43 inch desktop computer will read differently to one written on a 13 inch Macbook.

An email written on your phone will usually be little more than amalgamated bullet points. Good for memorandums, bad for selling.

Rob Drummond

Rob Drummond runs the Maze Marketing Podcast and Maze Mastery. Rob specialises in content production, ad creation, storytelling and CRM systems. He has two published books, Magnetic Expertise and Simple Story Selling, affordable on Amazon.