Reading by Hand

The other day I copied a few passages from a favorite novel into my own handwriting. It felt amazing. I could've typed, downloaded, done something fancy with that material. Instead, I learned the passages - in a new way. It was yet another example of how my life can be better, approached slowly.

The best learning doesn't happen in a rushed "efficient" manner. It happens slowly - the way my teachers Stevan Allred and Joanna Rose begin each Pinewood Table writing class with a poem. One teacher will read the poem for us to savor, examine, and breathe in. We absorb it through our pores. Wonder, delight, and learning happen at this pace.

Copying a passage from a novel can have the same depth and delicious slowness. I am incorporating elements into my writing education that can't be expressed in mere words. The cadences and rhythms, the nuances and the word choices - they all contribute to the experience.

Try this: hand copy lines of a poem or a passage from a book. Experiencing it in your own handwriting adds a remarkable dimension. What have you learned? Write about it.

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