The Benefits of Writing: And The Tools To Make Writing A Joy!

It's official! Researchers, Scientists and Medical Professionals are all in agreement…writing is good for you! Picking up a pen and paper and writing a journal, notes, creative prose, poetry and even Copywork (the act of taking an established text such as a novel and transcribing it for your own enjoyment) can all play a huge part in our mental (and even physical!) wellbeing!

Students: Write Don’t Type!

Famously, Dr. Margot B. Stein - a pediatric psychologist - is cited as stating “Computer keyboarding skills are an excellent adjunct to handwriting, but in most cases they are not a substitute.” Technology and computer literacy are a hugely important part of modern society but writing by hand remains an enjoyable and crucial life-skill.

US Academic giants UCLA and Princeton published a joint study which showed that among students, those who took notes by hand are more likely to retain and process the information successfully than those who type their notes electronically. It should be noted at this point that this article focusses solely on those who are able-bodied enough to enact handwriting and does not state that any persons with physical barriers to hand-writing are in any way less likely to succeed academically or are unable to use writing as a hobby, creative outlet or aid to mental and emotional wellbeing - the limitations of my knowledge and experience prevent me from speaking on the experience and possible experience of those with physical and cognitive impairments. Anyway, back to the point…

The 2014 Joint study found that those who typed notes were inclined to regurgitate, en masse, the information given including irrelevant and unimportant aspects of the class. However, those who take notes by hand are using their ‘Reticular Activating System’ which is a part of the brain which automatically emphasises the information that is being focussed on in the moment allowing for deeper understanding and higher level processing. Interestingly, the study debunks the idea that; even though at the point of note taking, those typing may not be processing and understanding information as well as those who write longhand notes, that this detriment would be offset by having a more complete and almost verbatim transcription of the class/lecture would allow for better studying of the notes at a later date. The opposite was noted and even when students were allowed to review their notes a week after they were taken, those participants who had typed notes performed worse on tests of factual content and conceptual understanding relative to those who had taken notes longhand! 

Not only does taking notes longhand improve understanding, but a 2012 study conducted by the Washington University of St. Louis found that students who typed notes began to lose vital information as quickly as 24 hours after the fact. Students who took handwritten notes retained information much longer - over a week longer than their typist colleagues on average. Not only that, they demonstrated a higher level of understanding of the taught concepts.

It is not only at secondary and higher education levels that the benefits of hand-writing have been noted. Karin James and Laura Engelhardt published an incredible study in 2012 with evidence from a research project where pre-literate children were asked to either type, trace or draw a letter. None of the children were able to read or write before taking part in the research. The study evidenced that brain activation during letter perception is influenced in different ways by having had handwritten the letter rather than typing or tracing those same letters. The children underwent functional MRI scanning whilst being shown images of the letters and those who had handwritten the letters had three areas of the brain ‘light-up’ during their scans showing that physically writing the letters engaged vital neural pathways that were not engaged in the brains of those who typed or traced. This demonstrates the importance of handwriting in the facilitation of reading and writing skill acquisition in young children.

Health in Your Hand: Writing as Part of Holistic Treatment

It is not just students (of all ages) who benefit from writing. Psychologist Bridget Murray published ‘Writing to Heal’ where she discusses the potential health benefits of using writing as part of a wider treatment schedule addressing the negative emotions associated with trauma and illness and how writing can support immune system strengthening as well as help with emotional wellbeing. Again, i will preface this section by stating that i am absolutely not well informed enough to provide a critical analysis of this study, but i found it so interesting and intriguing that it warranted inclusion and as with all things - i invite you to explore the research for yourself should you be interested (references provided at the end). 

It is well-known that writing is a well-utilised tool used in therapy and for decades practitioners have used questionnaires, logs, journals and even creative writing activities to help people process and ‘recover’ from stresses and traumas. Murray’s work discusses advancements in the field that suggest that expressive writing may also provide physical benefits to people living with terminal or life limiting diseases. I should state at this point that cracking out a parker fountain pen and deliciously vibrant ink is not a magical cure-all … even if sometimes it feels like it can melt the troubles of the world away even if just for a short while. The crux of the research (shamefully passing-over the complex nuances and factors presented across a myriad of research being presented in Murray’s paper) is that immune functioning of patients with illnesses such as HIV/AIDS, asthma and arthritis can be measurably improved (or a decline avoided) by adding therapeutic writing into the wider treatment. Murray cites the work of the University of Auckland across two studies in 1997 and 1998 which found a similar pattern across a cohort of HIV/AIDS patients. Murrays interpretation states:

‘The researchers asked 37 patients in four 30-minute sessions to write about negative life experiences or about their daily schedules. Afterward, patients who wrote about life experiences measured higher on CD4 lymphocyte counts--a gauge of immune functioning--than did controls, though the boost to CD4 lymphocytes had disappeared three months later.

Regardless, the fact that they at first showed improved immune functioning suggests that it reduced their stress through a release of HIV-related anxiety, says Pennebaker. "By writing, you put some structure and organization to those anxious feelings," he explains. "It helps you to get past them."

Other research by Pennebaker indicates that suppressing negative, trauma-related thoughts compromises immune functioning, and that those who write visit the doctor less often. Also, Petrie's colleague Roger Booth, PhD, has linked writing with a stronger antibody response to the Hepatitis B vaccine.’

There appears to be some debate around the physical benefits (although almost no debate about the emotional and mental benefits) of writing and the dominant view across behavioural researchers is that therapeutic writing is a valuable tool in treating chronically ill people. 

A less controversial and widely acknowledged benefit of writing is the positive impact on mental health that writing in various forms can have. Adrienne Ero-Phillips wrote on this in 2015 as part of their Master’s Thesis (I wonder if they hand wrote their notes!). The findings of Ero-Phillips’ thesis acknowledged the healing properties of writing which include; Reducing anxiety, clarifying thought, improving communication, as well as providing structure and improving self-perceived quality of life. Within the conclusion, Ero-Phillips states:

‘Writing helped people understand themselves more deeply and helped them express themselves creatively. Writing was an occupation in which they could find themselves getting into a flow; enhancing the therapeutic qualities. Writing also helped people work through their social relationships and helped them find spiritual meaning and purpose in their lives. Occupational therapists and allied health professionals should consider using personal writing as a therapeutic intervention when working with people with mental health issues because it fosters connection with the self and with others in society.’

The Alzheimers society reports that writing as part of arts therapy has long been used and proven effective as part of activities designed to support and engage those living with degenerative cognitive disorders and illness such as dementia and alzheimers - in particular with slowing decline. Not only do writing activities such as journaling aid with memory and recall but they also reclaim personal identity and social connection. Not only that, studies have suggested that writing activities like keeping a diary or writing letters can boost cognitive stimulation and help the brain's resilience to disease. In 2021 the academic journal Neurology reported that high levels of cognitive activity like reading, word puzzles, writing letters and journaling could delay the onset of Alzheimers disease by 5 years among high risk populations. Supporting this,The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), a peer reviewed journal of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) reported that cognitively passive activities such as watching tv increased dementia risk whereas cognitively active tasks such as writing, are linked to a reduced risk of dementia regardless of engagement levels with physical activity. 

Creativity and longevity at your fingertips: The Benefits of Writing as a Hobby

Creative writing is emerging as one of the top career choices for many young people, from blogging to marketing and advertising, creative writing as a career is a growing industry with Bolton University reporting that as an occupation creative writing has an average annual growth rate of around 16%. We have already established that there are psychological and mental-wellbeing benefits to writing - far more than perhaps we could have envisioned. It is said that writing is helpful in decision-making, stress relief, improving mental clarity, increasing self-esteem, boosting attention span, enhancing memory and supporting positive mental and emotional wellbeing. Putting pen to paper builds unique brain connections and provides a sensory input which plays an important role in memory formation…everything from the weight of the pen, the scent of ink and the tactile feel of paper…all play a part.


Writing is an experience and a personal one. The recreational activity of writing allows self-expression…from the writing instrument selected to the choice of ink (or otherwise) and even the surface upon which to write, scribble, draw, muse. All of this before anything has been created. Whether composing poetry, writing letters to loved ones, doodling and ink swatching, writing a diary, keeping a journal (Bullet or otherwise) or engaging in copywork…science agrees…it’s good for you!

So however your writing/pen/pencil/ink based hobby materialises … just know that you could be boosting your immune system, preventing the onset of cognitive decline, promoting strong learning skills, boosting memory power, reducing stress and anxiety and connecting yourself with a wider community of pen based hobbyists who share your passion and enjoyment for slowing things down, stepping away from screens and technology and connecting mind and body through the symbiosis of thought and the physical actualisation of that thought or feeling. 

Writing supplies at The Hamilton Pen Company

Whether you are new to the hobby of writing or a long time gatherer and aficionado of writing instruments, The Hamilton Pen company has a huge range of pens, paper, inks and accessories to keep your collection - and your mind- healthy and happy. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but rather a taster of some of the delights to get you started, or to add to your existing arsenal…happy hobbying.

In no particular order, here are some our customer favourites ...

Blackwing 602 Palomino Pencil - Firm Graphite (Box of 12)


The Blackwing 602 pencil - praised in the New Yorker and The Boston Globe, the Blackwing 602 features a firm and smooth graphite core that helps it deliver on its promise of "Half the Pressure, Twice the Speed". The Palomino Blackwing is the firmest pencil in the Blackwing portfolio and comes in a box of 12 pencils.

Caran d'Ache 844 Fluoline Mechanical Pencil - Orange

The Caran d'Ache 844 Classicline Mechanical Pencil is the perfect partner for the 849 ballpoint pen. Similar in design with an all-metal hexagonal barrel, the Classicline pencil takes 0.7mm lead and is available in a range of colours.

Nahvalur Horizon Fountain Pen - Dawn

Nahvalur Pens are based in California, USA and produce all of the components for their pens in-house.

The Nahvalur Horizon fountain pen draws inspiration from the view of the horizon at different times of the day or under different natural phenomenons. With its curved metal ring, representing the waves of the ocean, and Nahvalur’s signature ink window, representing the sky behind the waves, this collection strives for the perfect balance between modern creativity and cherished classic.

From Nahvalur's signature transparent ink window, to the piston-filling mechanism, all the way through to its smooth Nahvalur in-house stainless steel nibs in fine, medium, broad, stub, and double broad sizes, the Horizon collection confidently embodies the best of Nahvalur.

Available in other colours.

LAMY AL-star Ballpoint Pen - Fiery (2024 Special Edition)

The LAMY AL-star was first introduced in 1996 and was derived from the LAMY safari. Produced with a high-end aluminium surface wrapped around a resilient ABS plastic core, AL-star is light in the hand yet well balanced and with its ergonomic grip section, a comfortable writing experience is ensured.

The AL-star ballpoint pen is push button activated and is refillable with the LAMY M16 giant ballpoint refill. Comes fitted with a black refill.

Ferris Wheel Press The Carousel Fountain Pen

The Carousel is a joyous writing instrument that combines tactility and nostalgia in a lightweight body to create a charming experience with every single detail. The all new custom-ground steel nib is playful and agile, able to produce beautifully nuanced lines with its subtle flexibility. Available in both fine and medium widths, the new nib is stamped with a galloping horse that dances to your every word.

Each Carousel fountain pen comes equipped with its own ink converter, ready to be filled and refilled all over again with your favourite Ferris Wheel Press Ink. 

Available in a range of colours.

Cross Bailey Ballpoint Pen - Medalist

The Cross Bailey pen was designed with an eye for detail. From its multi-grooved chrome centre ring with patterned engravings to its sleek, modern clip, it exudes a distinct style that's sure to be noticed. Traditional, well-balanced design, Distinctive cap-over-barrel styling, Multi-groove centre ring with a deep-cut engraving, A beautiful collaboration of polished chrome and 23ct gold-plated appointments and the specially formulated Cross ink flows flawlessly for a superior writing experience.

Conklin Herringbone Signature Fountain Pen - Yellow

The Conklin Herringbone Signature series combines vintage appeal with a modern bold style and elegance. The unique Herringbone pattern itself is achieved by using a very precise computerised engraving machine to cut the deep pattern into the solid metal barrel. This elegant pattern, reminiscent of the Conklin crescent shape, is seen underneath a special translucent coloured lacquer and coated with several layers of epoxy for protection and brightness. The heavy chromium clip is engraved with the legendary “Conklin” trademarked name and font and the centre ring is engraved with the Conklin “C” surrounded by four Conklin crescent shapes on each side. The fountain pen fills via standard cartridge or converter (included) and is available in a range of nib sizes.

Ferris Wheel Press Ink - Ferritales Valiant Blue

In the tender embrace of Patch’s unwavering love, the cold heart of her captor starts to melt as the curse that once bound them begins to unravel. With each passing day and whispered promise, the Beast is transformed, his fearsome exterior giving way to a gentler countenance. Let the true blue of their burgeoning romance inspire your next great love letter or epic poem.

Ink Tone:True Blue with Duochrome green/gold shimmer
Characteristics:Radiant, hopeful, elegant

Captured in a 20ml glass globe with a widened neck to fit most fountain pens, this high quality, richly saturated pen ink is our most cherished collection yet. Explore a world of premium, dazzling shimmers, enchanting tonal combinations, and captivating sheens to add to your treasured chest of stationery.

Pelikan Edelstein Ink of the Year 2024 - Golden Lapis

This exclusive ink collection from Pelikan comes in 8 standard colours and a limited edition ink of the year, all presented in an elegant 50ml glass bottle.

The Edelstein Ink Collection is manufactured using a special ingredient that ensures extra smooth writing and care for the fountain pen.

An enchanting colour combination of a vibrant blue tone refined with a golden shimmer. The Golden Lapis gemstone was once considered a jewel for kings and was associated with strength, wisdom and protection from negative influences. To this day, golden lapis is also a symbol of inner peace and emotional balance.

This balance of a powerful and calming colour effect gives the handwriting a special expressiveness. The golden shimmering elements in the ink flow randomly, giving the writing ever-changing expressions of colour.

Nahvalur Rover Fountain Pen Ink - Various Colours


The Rover inks from Nahvalur are available in 4 exciting colours and come in 20ml glass bottles with wide opening for ease of filling.

The Nahvalur Rover ink collection includes four fountain pen inks - Galaxy, Honeycomb, Jade and Starry Night - each reflecting the unique style of a Nahvalur fountain pen. Crafted with an accompanying lighthouse illustration in the corresponding ink colour, the 20ml round glass bottles are capped off with a hexagonal lid. All of these inks are pH neutral, quick-drying and boasts a shimmer effect, enhancing your writing with a subtle glimmer and helping your words to shine.

Pilot Iroshizuku Ink - Tsutsuji (Azalea)

Enjoy Japan's rich and subtle colour aesthetic as you write with Iroshizuku fine fountain pen ink. Available in 24 vibrant and exciting colours.

The name "iroshizuku" is a combination of the Japanese words "iro" (colouring) expressing high standards and variation of colours, and "shizuku" (droplet), which embodies the very image of dripping water.

Each ink name derives from the expressions of beautiful Japanese natural landscapes and plants, all of which contribute to the depth of each individual hue. Enjoy Japan's rich and subtle colour aesthetic as you write.

Pilot has always manufactured its own inks, renowned throughout the world and guaranteeing fine quality to the tip of your pen!

The Bullet Journal is the analog system for the digital age. It allows you to easily track the past, and plan for the future. It provides a simple to learn modular framework that allows users to infinitely customise their Bullet Journals to their needs. Backed by a growing global community of hundreds of thousands, the Bullet Journal sits at the intersection between productivity and mindfulness.

Rhodia A4 Webnotebook - Orange


With something of a cult following, the Rhodia A4 Webnotebook (nicknamed the Webbie!) has a hardback Italian leatherette cover and features superior quality paper from Clairefontaine that offers minimal feathering and bleed-through when using fountain pens.

Ferris Wheel Press The Sketchbook A5 Enveloped in Rattan - Pink

The Ferris Wheel Press Sketchbook provides a blank canvas made for creatives, illustrators, artists and dreamers! 

Imbue your most wondrous ideas on 120 pages of high quality, 160 gsm, PH neutral acid-free A5 paper.

The Sketchbook has an elegant hard cover, features an accordion pocket to keep all your inspirations at hand, and you'll always find your way with a plump 23mm grosgrain ribbon place marker.

The Sketchbook is available in a range of 4 subtle colours and contains blank pages that measure approximately 150mm x 210mm.


And there's so much more! Explore our full collection today! 


References and Resources:

Bui, Dung & Myerson, Joel & Hale, Sandra. (2012). Note-Taking With Computers: Exploring Alternative Strategies for Improved Recall. Journal of Educational Psychology. 105. 299. 10.1037/a0030367. Available From:

David A. Raichlen, Yann C. Klimentidis, M. Katherine Sayre, Gene E. Alexander. (2022) Leisure-time sedentary behaviors are differentially associated with all-cause dementia regardless of engagement in physical activity. Edited by Randall Engle, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA; PNAS 119 (35) e2206931119. Available from:

Ero-Phillips, Adrienne M. (2015). The Healing Properties of Writing for Persons with Mental Health Issues. Retrieved from Sophia, the St. Catherine University repository website: Available From:

Karin H. James, Laura Engelhardt,(2012) The effects of handwriting experience on functional brain development in pre-literate children. Trends in Neuroscience and Education. Volume 1, Issue 1,2012, Pages 32-42, Available from:

M Cecil Smith, Ph.D. The Benefits of Writing. 1CISLL Co-Founder and Faculty Affiliate, Associate Dean for Research, College of Education & Human Services, West Virginia University. Available from:

Murray, B. (2002, June 1). Writing to heal. Monitor on Psychology, Volume 33, issue 6. Available From:

Pam A. Mueller and Daniel M. Oppenheimer (2014)The Pen Is Mightier Than the Keyboard: Advantages of Longhand Over Laptop Note Taking. Princeton University and University of California, Los Angeles. Psychological Science. 2014, Vol. 25(6) 1159–1168 Available From:

Pennebaker, J.W. (1997). Writing about emotional experiences as a therapeutic process. Psychological Science, 8(3) 162- 166. Available From:

Petrie, K.J., Booth, R.J., & Pennebaker, J.W. (1998). The immunological effects of thought suppression. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 75(5) 1261- 1272. Available from: ​​

Robert S. Wilson, PhD, Tianhao Wang, PhD, Lei Yu, PhD, Francine Grodstein, PhD, David A. Bennett, MD, and Patricia A. Boyle, PhD. Cognitive Activity and Onset Age of Incident Alzheimer Disease Dementia (2021) Neurology. August 31, 2021 issue. 97 (9) e922-e929 Available From:


20 reasons to write by hand according to science.

Psychological Benefits of Creative Writing- University of Bolton. Blog post.

How do creative hobbies benefit your health? Sheila Pinion . Health Content Editor at Bupa UK. 15 March 2023 . Available From:


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