Thursday, January 23, 2014
2014 National Handwriting Day!
Happy National Handwriting Day, the day we celebrate the skill of actually writing by yourself, without the use of technology!
I love to write by hand. It's probably because I like to make things, draw and such-like. I know that many, many people don't like to write, either because they think it's too slow or because they simply hate their handwriting. But I love it.
My first lessons in handwriting occurred when I was in Kindergarten, attending a school in Mexico City, Mexico, where I lived at the time. I was 4 years old. Sitting at wooden desks, in blue lined exercise books (which I still have!) we formed the first shapes that would lead to cursive writing: loops for Ls, fat circles for Os, and so forth. We had to repeat these over and over. I loved gliding the pencil over the paper, and tried to make my shapes accurately and look like the teacher's. Yes, I remember this vividly!
Soon, we started copying pieces of prose, forming the shapes of the letters. We wrote our names (mine was long--Else Maria Mena--so I got to write a lot!). It was delightful.
My mother had beautiful, perfect handwriting, and she was consistent. It always looked the same from year to year. Mine varied widely, depending on what age I was and what examples I saw, but I've always used those basic shapes I learned in Kindergarten. Sometimes I varied my capitals based on something artistic I saw, sometimes I wrote large and sometimes I wrote small. I think I vary less now that I am older, and my writing is consistently small, but who knows? I am still experimenting with letter shapes. It's fun and it's like having built-in Fonts, all my own!
I highly recommend handwriting. Good or bad, consistent or not, it's part of YOU. It's your own personal art, and when you send a letter in your own writing, you are giving a part of yourself to another person. It's personal and it means something. Yes, handwriting takes more time than typing on a keyboard. But it's worth it because you are worth it.
So try writing something by hand today. Write a note. Make a list. Write "I love you" on a slip of paper and put it where your beloved can see it. You matter, and your handwriting is you.
Need more opportunities to write by hand? Check out International Correspondence Writing Month (InCoWriMo) every February. I'll be participating for the first time this year, and you might get a letter from me!