You remember those penmanship lessons long (or not so long) ago? If your handwriting is anything like mine, you'll remember them with dread. I think there's a reason that "cursive" and "curse" share the majority of their letters. And yet I've returned to the age of pen and paper – at least for some of my writing.
Apart from the obvious reasons – it makes me look fashionably retro, and my hieroglyphics thwart any effort to read over my shoulder – there are some less obvious ones why I've taken up the practice after many years of abstinence.
Providence dropped Julia Cameron's "The Right to Write" into my lap. The practice of morning pages has stuck with me. I've since tweaked the concept to fit my own needs, but what it boils down to is journaling without any self-censorship or editing or any pressure to "write well". After a few sputters and misfirings, I've developed a regular practice – and I do my journaling longhand, in stationery's finest. Why?
First of all, a 99c composition book is more portable than a laptop. Yes, I know, I could use a phone or tablet, but a virtual keyboard is just about as useful to me as a virtual meal and less appealing. Did I mention that I suffer from fat finger syndrome and yet refuse to have a gadget tell me what I really meant when I typed wqe8yhalrh? (I don't use spell-check either. My typos are all mine. Mine!)
Practical considerations aside, writing longhand gives me more time to think. Pen or keyboard, I write very fast, but longhand is just that much slower, so my mind can race ahead a little more comfortably and a little farther. I find that the sentences flow onto the page just a little more thought-out and less in need of major overhaul.
Over the years I've found that I do my best thinking with a real pen on real paper. Lately I've expanded the practice from journaling to story planning. I freewrite to work out story logic or to explore my characters' experience. Yes, their emotions, too. Writing by hand gives me more immediacy. I find it easier to let my thoughts flow onto the page uncensored and uninterrupted and largely forgotten as soon as I write them down. Then, when I've dumped the contents of my brain onto the page, I re-read my scribblings, highlight the gems in the garbage and work them into my maunscript.
I find that the method works well as a cattle prod to my creativity. Would I ever write a novel the analog way? Of course not. That's what Scrivener is for.