When I was younger, I liked to change aspects of my handwriting every now and then. I went through many different phases: one year I tried out a two-story a; another year I decided to make straight descenders on my lowercase y, g and q. I even tried writing in all caps at one point in college.
I had fun exploring all of those different styles. Handwriting is an expression of yourself that can change over time and has the ability to reflect your personality.
Ever heard of handwriting analysis? You've probably seen it in on crime shows (Law & Order, CSI, or my favorite Criminal Minds). Not only can a handwriting analyst conclude if you're right-handed or left-handed, but they can determine specific traits of your personality. If you write larger, you're probably more outgoing. If your writing has no slant, you're probably emotionally guarded. Who knew one could tell so much simply from the way you write?
It saddens me that some schools in the U.S. no longer value handwriting. Cursive is not a required part of the curriculum and typing seems to be taking its place. Don't get me wrong, I understand that we live in a digital world and I am one of the first people that will opt to type a long list or set of notes as opposed to writing. But there's just something about writing with an actual pen and paper that typing can't replace.
What feels more personal, a handwritten thank you note or an email that blends in with the other mundane messages in your inbox? Handwriting is much more intimate: someone physically touched that piece of paper; their hand actually drew those lines.
Besides adding that personal touch, handwriting has been proven to help people retain information better. The act of your hands forming the letters taps into a different part of the brain that makes it easier to remember things.
I recently watched an incredibly insightful lecture by Ewan Clayton for the Type@Cooper program about the relationship between humans and the written word. I had wanted to watch the video since before I had the idea for this post. Once I decided to discuss handwriting, I figured I could pick up some good bits of information to share after watching it.
I was so inspired by his speech that I decided it deserved its own post. Check back next week for my takeaways...and in the meantime, break out your favorite pen and paper and write to someone special!