The power of handwriting
As a greeting card maker, I encourage people to hand-write the messages inside of cards. Not many people like the look of their own handwriting but, like it or not, it's part of who you are. Handwriting is as unique to you as your voice or your fingerprint. It's instantly recognizable.
Today, I'm going to give you three good reasons to learn to love your handwriting and why it's an important skill even for this electronic age.
1. The Personal Connection
I've already mentioned the personal connection. When someone sees your handwriting, they know it's you. Your handwritten messages are physical evidence that you were here. Sure, email and texting have supercharged our connectivity but don't mistake connectivity for presence.
Your handwriting, particularly your cursive hand, is a window into who you are. I'm not making this up! There's a whole field of study around handwriting called Graphology. Graphology is the study of shapes and patterns in handwriting to determine the personality and behaviours of the writer. Look at your handwriting again. Is it fat, skinny, tall, loopy? Do you cross your "t"s high or low on the stick? Are your capital "M"s rounded or pointy? Every letter says something about you - and only you.
2. The Brain Work-Out
There are other studies about handwriting outside of Graphology too. Many studies show that handwriting exercises your brain. A pen and a keyboard are both writing tools but they use different cognitive functions. On a keyboard, all you need to remember is the location of the key and then it's all the same action: a button push. With a pen, you have to recall the shape of the letter and then tell your hand how to draw it.
Other studies show that students retain information better when they take handwritten notes because we generally write slower than we type. That forces us to paraphrase information and prioritize the critical information to capture. Studies also show that seniors who practice cursive writing have greater longevity in their cognitive abilities.
3. The Creative Process
Handwriting also exercises your brain through the creative process. I mentioned having to "draw" the letters. Drawing - isn't that art? In a handwritten document, you can doodle in the margin, quickly sketch charts and diagrams and draw arrows and signals to insert or regroup information. Having the history of your thought process in front of you can inspire new ideas.
Evidence of the connection between the creative process and handwriting exists in calligraphy but, today, you can also see it everywhere in graffiti. Can there be a bigger or more prolific “I was here” sign than graffiti?
Your handwriting is your paper presence. The Jim Henson movie, the Dark Crystal, summed up handwriting beautifully as “words that stay”. So practice your handwriting! It doesn’t have to be an essay.
You can write a note to somebody inside a card.
(Birthday Card by FairyCardmaker)
Or you can keep a daily/weekly/monthly diary.
(Coptic Bound Journal by Pauseability)
Or you can journal some thoughts in a scrapbook.
(Travel Photo Display Album by FairyCardmaker)
However you want to do it, I encourage you to express your creativity, boost your brain and connect with people through the power of handwriting!