On the process of writing

I happen to have set that sentence down in the old, slow way by hand. If I had used a computer, I might have got it down in a third, a quarter of the time. But like a good many writers, even this far into the twenty-first century, I find that the pace at which I work in longhand – at which my arm, my hand moves in the act of writing – has what is for me a “natural” relationship to the speed at which my mind works and I do not to let go of a relationship that seems peculiarly mine. Writing by hand slows the thought process, allowing thinking to think again, mid-through, and leaving open the possibility of second thoughts. It has an effect too on syntax, on the way a sentence gets shaped.

—David Malouf, The Happy Life, Quarterly Essay QE41

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