Why say yes to handwriting?

I am currently sitting in front of my laptop typing out this blogpost about the benefits of handwriting at such speed that my keyboard is nearly on fire. Not that I’m the only one… According the alarming results of some research, handwriting is on the way to extinction and some states in the US have completely stopped teaching cursive writing at school. On that side of the globe handwriting is becoming so attached to the past that it’s starting to become trendy again as something ‘vintage’. Bizarre, eh?

Or perhaps not so much… The same way as the value of handmade products grow fast in a completely automated world, we start to recognise again the benefits of handwriting.

Are you meditating while writing the shopping list?

Meditation is, in essence, focusing your attention fully and completely on something. While we take the pen in our hand, smell the ink and feel the texture of the paper we slow down and write ‘bread, milk, cheese’ in a lot more mindful way than if we tapped these words on the smartphone. Drawing the letters stimulates the mind the same way as doodling – it’s only our culture that attaches meaning to these forms.

Stay creative!

After all it shouldn’t be a surprise that focusing on writing doesn’t only ease stress, but stimulates creativity. Handwriting encases not only the meaning of the words, but the writer’s personality as well as his sense of beauty and balance. It’s no accident that calligraphy is so popular today: it is all about the artistic approach to handwriting – perhaps even more than the meaning of the words. So why wouldn’t we make handwriting part of our everyday life?

How to incorporate handwriting into your daily schedule?

Allow yourself the luxury of a few secs to jot down a thought by hand. Your body will reward you for slowing down and the best thing about this is that while you write you actually work, you do something useful and yet you’ll feel better at the end. I’ve collected a few things you can do today to incorporate handwriting into your daily schedule.

  • Write a diary
  • Keep your appointments in a notebook instead of Google Calendar
  • Have a gratitude journal
  • Try to write with a brush to make you see what it actually means to DRAW the letters
  • Send a letter or postcard to a friend
  • Go to the stationery shop and inspire yourself by beautiful pens and notebooks

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Personal experiences

While most of the above mentioned thoughts are facts based on research, my own experiences do not contradict them. I often exchange snail mail with foreign friends, which they answer a lot more enthusiastically than a Facebook-message. I’ve been running a diary for 15 years and having tried out both handwritten and digital versions I can assure you that handwritten has won by far. Writing by hand adds a lot to the healing powers of a diary, away from the computer. It’s actually funny to see how ugly my handwriting is when I sit down to write in a state, and how my letters smooth out after a few pages.

Do you still write by hand or do you prefer the keyboards?

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