Ever heard of National Handwriting Day? It’s today, January 23. This day was created by the Writing Instrument Manufacturers Association as a way to promote use of writing instruments. Clever, huh? They chose January 23 because it was John Hancock’s birthday. Double clever, right!?
In all seriousness, I really appreciate this National Day. I’ve always been fascinated by handwriting. You know how you can just look at handwriting and know who wrote it? It can be so distinct from person to person (looking at you, Mom and Dad). I love that about handwriting.
For me, handwriting notes, or doodling words or creating nicer hand lettering is kind of like adult coloring. It’s a nice way to relax and take my focus off of life’s craziness — as this Medical Daily article says — while applying that focus to something creative.
When I was young, I had a weird habit of randomly tracing letters with my fingers in the air, which got me a few odd looks throughout the years. I was bored with the moment and focused on words and letters instead. What can I say? I was a free spirit or something. (I keep my tracing on the page now.)
I also changed my handwriting about as often as I changed my mood … which was a lot. As an adult with more consistent handwriting (and moods), I still think that handwriting says a lot about a person and a moment. Notes scribbled in a rush or carefully crafted, lengthy love letters, and thoughtfully structured grocery lists all call for different types of handwriting, I would say.
Recently, hand lettering has been popping up all over the place. There’s a style for everyone and every occasion. You see it regularly on retail signs, in marketing emails, on restaurant boards, everywhere. A quick Pinterest search shows toooonns of links to hand-lettering lessons and artwork. It’s strange to think of words as art (but not that “Word Art” stuff from Microsoft Word) in an aesthetic sense rather than through their meaning, but they certainly can be.
I don’t know if it’s true, but it made me sad to hear the rumor that cursive isn’t taught in grade school anymore. And though I love the efficiency and convenience of typing, I still handwrite notes all the time. Like I said, something about the act of literally putting a pen to paper is therapeutic. Seriously, in the 20 minutes or so that I spent creating these hand-lettering doodle dealies, I felt way more relaxed.
This National Handwriting Day, I encourage you to take a moment and hand-write something. Doodle your name. Write a grocery list. Craft a love letter. Whatever. Let us know how it goes.
What do you think of National Handwriting Day? —Megan