Write up my alley

I am a pen and paper junkie. I love writing by hand. I love the feeling of my hand flowing over the page, gliding across the paper, like a figure skater on ice. I love every loop, swoop and swirl, the fat rounds and bellies of various letters. My signature is big and wild and very unhappy when forced to confine itself to the little box on a passport application or the thin strip on the back of a credit card. Ugh.

Writing by hand, has been in an uphill battle for years now. It’s barely the school curriculum these days. Kids texting each other has replaced passing notes in the classroom. Laptops and tablets have usurped notebooks across all the spectrum. And email? Well, email, what can I say? Email is email.

But I have not given up hope on longhand. Handwriting is not a lost art. No, indeed, far from it. And I think it is the digital world that will keep it alive and blooming. Have you ever noticed how many script fonts are available for use on your computer? Sites like Creative Market abound with gorgeous hand written fonts which can be downloaded to your computer and used within MS Word, or wherever. There are apps that offer you hand written typefaces for use in texts. Handwriting has character that plain text does not. There is no comparison.

They say that there is a huge connection between the brain and writing something by hand. Writing by hand somehow, to me, inspires creativity. It’s almost like drawing. I think it improves memory. Have you ever found that if you write something down so you don’t forget it, you remember it, without having to look at the note?

And what about the joy, because it is joy, no? When you spy a handwritten letter in the post amongst the plethora of bills and junk mail? What a surprise! How thoughtful you think.  Or maybe it’s what the heck is this first. Then What a surprise followed by how thoughtful. 😉 Whichever the order, don’t you love receiving a handwritten letter or note card? Not the usual, I know, but soo special. Doesn’t one handwritten note exude connection with the sender more than all the text and emails in a day? It costs so much more time to write a letter than an email, but that’s just one of the things that make it so special.

Or think of a signature, even. Is it not a true expression of person? The most personal representation of themselves. One’s name written in their own hand. One’s name bonded to a birthday card for their beloved or to a contract that will launch their career. I know keyboard skills are crucial, but isn’t it sad to think of the dashing, up and coming young businessman who must almost print his name, because he has not learned to write.

I have not even raised calligraphy, handwriting analysis or letter writing, yet. Or stationery and journals, or fountain pens and ink. And I will leave it here, for now, and say “Long live longhand!”

What do you say? Are you a fan of hand writing? What was the last hand written letter you received? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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  • Yes, yes and YES!
    I am a pen & paper junkie too! Not to mention the sensual pleasure I derive from inhaling the delicious choices at a good stationer’s.

    Not only do I remember better when writing, it’s also how I listen best. College course or casual lecture, I always take notes…something about how the words go through my hand helps them travel to my brain.

    As much as I agree with paprerless practices, what will our children lose as a culture and as developibg humans because of them?

  • I am a fan of the hand-written word. It is art. It is comfort on a rainy day. It is joy. It connects us to the paper, and so we honour the trees. It connects us to our deeper selves, in a way typing on a computer cannot do.

    I have my father’s cursive writing books from public school in the 1920s, in Toronto. I cherish these. Going forward, I know someone will want to learn cursive writing, and I shall have the books for them to learn from.

    Pen and ink are magic, too. Quality paper sends shivers up my spine.

    I love it all.

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