Although writing long hand isn't my preferred method... I do find that unplugging for a day can sometimes be beneficial.
Usually, Drake quacks in my ear so quickly that it's hard for my handwriting to keep up. You see, I spent several years as a transcriptionist, so it actually feels more natural for me to type rather than write longhand. The ideas come from Drake's beak and out my fingers, with little, if any translation required. He quacks and his words appear on the screen. I go back later and fine-tune and edit, of course; but I find that this is a very natural way to write, at least for me.
That having been said, I have found it helpful to unplug sometimes. Writing longhand can sometimes stimulate parts of my brain that hadn't been energized in a while. It irritates Drake when I make him work this way, but I have found that it can be helpful. There's a little more time for contemplation when you write longhand. There's a little bit more time to consider the images you want to convey and the tenor of the tension you're going to present to your reader. Dialogue comes with more fluidity when you talk to yourself... although bystanders may look at you strangely... the result is more organic conversation.
I find, too, that it's a great way to kick Drake in the tail feathers when he's not interested in cooperating during the editing phase. A few times, I've had to print out my manuscript and force him to edit with me, pen in hand. It annoys him because he perceives this as doing the work twice. However, if he's not in a mood to be helpful at the keyboard, I find that this "tough love" usually knocks him back into the pond of helpful creation.
My favorite places to write unplugged are museums, forests, while boating, and at the zoo. I write best unplugged when out in nature... indoor technology usually prevents me from grasping a pen... so I need to remove myself from those temptations.
If you haven't tried unplugged writing, I highly recommend it. In fact, Grey Wolfe Publishing is hosting a Longhand Writing Field Trip to the Detroit Institute of Arts on Saturday, March 11. If you're not busy that day, you may want to come out and join the fun.
Diana Kathryn Plopa
I love being in love; writing; reading; mammals of nearly every kind, and especially micro-humans! Come enjoy my world with me - Secret Decoder Ring not required!!