Let’s Hear it for Handwriting

filler-1101493_640According to the calendar of days, January 23 is National Handwriting Day. One of my favorite days, to be sure.

Handwriting tends to be underrated in our current society. People text and email as a way of communicating but I find myself longing for the days when I would go to the mailbox and there would be a letter inside, usually from my daughter who was living overseas at the time. The joy of seeing those handwritten pages was amazing. I would write back from time to time. Her dad would even write on occasion. She enjoyed getting the mail just as much as we did.

This doesn’t happen much in my life anymore. I will admit it is my fault.

I just don’t send letters or Christmas cards. I haven’t for a couple of years. I like to get them. Apparently, it is in the sending that I have problems. So, to my sister in law who is the only person to send out Christmas cards – Thank you. Not only for the sentiment but that you took the time to handwrite your cards.

Although I spend plenty of time at my computer writing, at times too much, I still spend at least part of my day with my trusty fountain pen and notebook. Journaling is one of the most important parts of my day.

The funny thing is I still keep most of my notes in this form, including my calendar. I do use a computer for my work calendar but for everything else, it is on paper. I’ve never been able to use the apps that would work with my phone. The funny thing is I don’t trust that. I trust that each time I open a notebook or planner, everything will be right there.

This is a bit old school but I will argue the point that handwriting is still relevant. I think about this every time the computer has a glitch or the internet is down and I am unable to work on my ever growing stack of paperwork. The very thing we depend on is not as reliable as a trusty pen and paper.

There are drawbacks but that is for another day.

For me, I will continue to write in my paper journal with my fountain pen filled with purple ink. There are other colors of course but purple is my favorite. I will continue to spend way too much on pens and ink. Also, finding those wonderful notebooks is a fabulous way to spend an afternoon.

I would encourage you to find a good pen. You know the ones I mean. A good pen is one that feels good in your hand, balances well so you aren’t spending a lot of time wrangling it and has fast ink. That is a must for me. If I am fighting to pull the pen across the page, I tend to get rid of it.F Fat pens are important too. Otherwise, I end up with cramps in my hand.

Handwriting is so much easier with a good pen (or pencil, but that is another discussion).

What kind of implement are you using to write these days?

The Magic of Handwriting

fountain-pen-447576_1280For the past couple of days I’ve been working on my novel by hand. I’ve pulled out my fountain pen and have written lots of words, more than I thought I would. The work has flowed really well with only minor discomfort in my hand. Its been interesting.

I’ve struggled for the past week to work on any of my works in progress, my novel especially. My MC has become stubborn and hasn’t liked the way things have gone. I needed to work with that. Handwriting became the answer for me.

For most of my life, my first, rough drafts have been hand written. I would then type them up so others could actually read them. My handwriting, especially when done quickly isn’t fabulous. I’d forgotten the power of handwriting.

Handwriting is something I’ve reserved for my journal writing. I’d been used to working out whatever my subconscious needed to work on through my pen. Something special happens when a pen and paper is used. It is healing and soothing to our souls.

When you give free reign to your words, whether they are the private thoughts you have or to whatever you are working one, magic happens. It seems to keep out the inner critic and creativity abounds. The words keep flowing.

A part of the magic that has happened for me is that I’ve been able to understand my characters a bit better. I’ve been able to slow down and really get the thoughts on paper. I tend to type quite fast and makes it harder to get things down just right.

This is something that I see on lots of different writing sites. The advice that changing things up can help when you are blocked or are having trouble with a spot in your work. It seems to be working for me.

So, go ahead, if you are able, try to change things up. If you are used to handwriting, try typing straight into your computer. Or if like me, you’ve been creating rough drafts on your computer, try picking up your favorite pen and write your words that way. You may be surprised at the positive changes you will see.

What do you prefer, handwriting a rough draft or typewritten?