#TellHisStory Featured Writer: Glynn Young

April 2, 2013 | 8 comments

During 2013, dozens of talented writers are joining me to cheer you on in your storytelling. These guest-writers will share a few helpful words with you right here every Tuesday night, to encour

age you as you #TellHisStory. (Come back after midnight Wednesday to link up your God Story by clicking hereIn April, we’re considering stories about growth and change, though you are free to share ANY story that God lays on your heart.)

And now, I’m delighted to introduce you to my friend, author Glynn Young

Writing Emotion

I was having trouble with the conclusion to a speech I was writing for a company executive. It needed to soar with emotion, and everything was falling flat. I’d stare at the computer screen, try something, get disgusted, and try again. After repeated tries, I printed the last few pages and walked out of my office. I found a quiet place, and started reading.

As I read, I made notes on the page. The notes became longer. I flipped the typed pages over and started writing, longhand. I ran out of paper, so I returned to my office and continued writing – longhand.

When I finished, I realized the conclusion I needed was there. It wasn’t just there; it sang, and it surged with emotion. It was exactly what was needed, and what I had been trying so unsuccessfully to do.

I learned accidentally that writing in longhand is the best thing I can do when I need to use emotion. The most emotional scenes in my two novels were first written in longhand. The first drafts of all the poetry I write are written in longhand.

I can’t explain it, but writing in longhand works.



Young, Glynn
ABOUT GLYNN:Glynn Young, a corporate speechwriter for more than 30 years, is the author of two novels, Dancing Priest and A Light Shining. He blogs at Faith, Fiction, Friends, and you can find him on both Facebook and Twitter. He is the Twitter editor for The High Calling, and a weekly columnist for TweetSpeak Poetry. He’s currently at work on a third novel, a novella, and a non-fiction book on poetry, all three of which are being written largely in longhand.

YOUR TURN: Have you written in longhand? How has it helped, or not helped? Let’s chat about writing in the comments… 

by | April 2, 2013 | 8 comments


  1. Jody Lee Collins

    I just finished typing my post for tomorrow and it’s in a black and white composition book. I have them everywhere–on the kitchen table, at my desk, near my favorite living room and chair and especially by my night stand. When the thoughts and words flow I think the emotions show up more easily because the paper is right there, ready to receive it all……..if that makes sense. Most of my writing is in longhand first –I find it much easier to edit that way….an eraser is a great invention!

  2. Simply Darlene

    Maybe longhand writing has something to do with the tactile nature of the creativity that is related to our youth (i.e. drawing, painting, writing cursive for the first time, etc.)? Whatever it is and however it works, longhand writing is my preferred method.

    Sir Glynn – it’s great to see you here and to learn even more secrets about your writerly talent.

    Miss JDL – thanks for sharing this piece with us.


  3. Diana Williams

    I always make my first draft in longhand then when I type it up I begin the editing process. It usually looks very different and much clearer then what I’ve written on paper.

    For me pen and paper allow me to flow unhindered. No expectations for perfection or just the right word. Just get what is in my out and onto the page. Perhaps Simply Darlene is correct that it associates one with the freedom of childhood. Once I type it I know someone else will be reading so I want to get it just right.

    Thanks for the opportunity to comment.

  4. Nancy Franson (@nancyfranson)

    I don’t do well with longhand, but I recognize the wisdom in finding what works best for each of us. We are fearfully and wonderfully made, and not a single one alike. I also recognize, in reading your words, how getting up and doing something different helps when I get stuck and my words fall flat. Stepping away from the work and picking up a book– often a very good way to untangle my thinking.

    And I just have to say, hopping over here to read this and catching Miss Darlene’s comment made this post even more fun 🙂

  5. beingwovenzephaniah317

    Interesting..I have a journal with me wherever I go. Longhand is all I know for that first draft of anything I intend to type. I actually still write letters to people in longhand on a piece of stationary or in a card. Old fashioned and old too!! : )

  6. Patricia Hunter

    RA has been cruel to my hands and fingers – holding a pen and pencil to write words is painful, clumsy and frustrating. I’m grateful beyond words for the ease of writing with a laptop, but I’m most creative when I doodle in journals with colorful gel pens. I take them with me everywhere, but if I’m working on an assignment, I won’t leave home without my laptop. I agree with Nancy, whatever works for each of us, and the key seems to be to get up and do something different. I’ve been known to use the video setting on my camera to record creative thoughts (for my eyes and ears only) that come to me in my wanderings so that I can remember them and type them out later.

  7. Duane Scott


    I thought I was the only person who did this! Glad to know I’m not alone!

  8. susan

    I have gotten so used to NOT writing longhand that it gets in my way. I start looking at my handwriting skills instead of the words….


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