(We’re soliciting reader feedback for a special upcoming article, so please read through to the end if you’d like to participate.)
The other day on Twitter, a friend of mine posted that she had switched the font on her WIP to Comic Sans font, and found herself frustrated by it. Curious, I asked her why she did that, and she pointed me in the direction of an article on the website Lifehacker by A.A. Newton. According to the article, titled Get Over Yourself and Start Writing in Comic Sans, the unique nature of the font, where every letter is different from the other twenty-five, keeps writers from losing focus, becoming super-nitpicky of their work, and in the case of people with dyslexia, easily tell the letters and words apart.
After reading the article, I thought I’d try it myself to see if it would help my own writing, and as I was starting a new story, I switched the font from my normal Times New Roman (yeah, I know, but I like that font) to Comic Sans and went to work. Last night I finished said story and surveyed my work.
What did I think?
Well, I did feel like I was filling out pages out much faster than I normally do. This was probably because, while I changed the font, I didn’t change the font size, and 12-point Comic Sans is slightly bigger than 12-point Times New Roman. so it did actually fill the page faster.
However, I’m not sure it made that significant an impact on my writing. I still got out words at my normal pace, and I still found myself pausing to think about how best to say what I wanted to say. The only difference was that there was a bigger font.
Which, by the way, I switched back to Times New Roman after the story was finished. What can I say? I like that font, it looks professional, and working in Times New Roman, especially during the editing phase, is just easier overall for me.
Overall, I don’t think I’d switch to writing in Comic Sans. It’s just not helpful to me in the way I need it to be.
Of course, I’m just one writer. At the time I’m writing this article, this site has 3,752 subscribed followers. A single person reporting their results is a case study. An entire group of people? Now that’s a real experiment.
So for the next three months, I’m asking our lovely readers here at Self-Published Authors Helping Other Authors to try writing in Comic Sans. Try writing a short story (or if you’re in the middle of a novel, a section or chapter) in Comic Sans, and let me know the following by May 1st:
- Short story or novel chapter/section
- Page/word count
- How did it go for you?
For that last part, if you could tell me in 150-250 words, I’d appreciate it.
Please send your submissions to my author email address: firstname.lastname@example.org, with the subject line Self-Pub Authors – Comic Sans. Depending on how many submissions we get, yours could end up being showcased here on the site. And if we get A LOT of submissions–like, more than we can fit in a single blog post–I’ll work something out.
And if you already write in Comic Sans, we’d also like to hear from you. Please tell us all about it and how it helps you write.
Remember folks, this is entirely voluntary, but we would really like to hear from you. When we did something like this a while back, we got some great responses, so I hope to see if we can get that same magic again.
Happy writing, everyone. And….GO!
I don’t even know if I ever noticed a Comic Sans font. I like Georgia, Garamond or like you, Times New Roman.
I can see using it for a children’s book or a short story, maybe.
A children’s book is one of the best places for it.
Interesting. I will have to try this! I usually use the Word 2007 default, which I think is calibri, because I am too lazy to change it, LOL!
Send me an email and let me know how it goes!
I tend to use calibri.
It’s a favorite these days. Not sure when it became the default though.
That makes sense – I have the numbers version of dyslexia – but I’m not sure I’d enjoy it, it’s such a horrible got to read. I’ll give it a go though and let you know!
I look forward to hearing how it goes for you!
I think the handwritten appearance of Comic Sans is what makes people feel better about their writing – as if they had almost returned to using pencil and paper. I still do a significant amount of handwritten work on my fiction, so I don’t lack for that important physical connection to my creative efforts.
As another possible psychological effect, some “old school” touch typists may feel more comfortable with using Courier.
TNR is a good workhorse font for taking my handwritten notes to the virtual paper phase, but for the finished product (setting type to independently publish my novels), I like Garamond.
I have seen a lot of books use Garamond, though I don’t have any strong feelings about it myself.
You make a good point about handwriting. I hadn’t thought about that. Thanks for contributing.
I’m actually editing for clients a lot more than I’m writing right now, so I don’t have a work to experiment with. However, I did write part of a page just to check it out, and I really don’t see how it would make a difference in writing. I did finally realize than “arial” is the best font to edit with because there’s no “curly-cues”. So fonts do matter sometimes.
It really does, doesn’t it?