The Simple Joy of Writing by Hand

Coloring for relaxation is all the rage now. Handwriting can provide the same reward, and stimulate the brain in ways that typing simply does not. It can also be a meditative practice.

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Have you noticed that we are writing by hand less and less these days? Sometimes it’s just a signature with a blunt stylus at the grocery store, or your finger signing crudely on a credit card pay screen. Handwriting certainly looks like a dying form, as we type away merrily on our keyboards, responding to emails that fly off in all directions. Is this withering away of handwriting a problem? Or is it the inevitable unfolding of language forms evolving over the centuries, from oral to written to printed, and now electronic? Before we dash headlong forward, let’s slow down for a moment and consider the role that handwriting plays.

I believe that handwriting still serves a deep purpose in our lives and that letting it fade away will be a loss to our spirit. Precisely because it is no longer essential for communication, handwriting can now be free to express its true nature as an embodied practice of creative expression, a synchronization of mind and body. Handwriting need not fold up and die. It can rise again as the original artistic act, unique to each of us, available to all, and really close at hand.