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Print and Calligraphy: The Power and Benefits of Hand Writing

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By Rachel Derry
Staff Writer LIFamilies

It’s amazing the power that a piece of paper and a pen can still have. Hand writing in our fast-paced world of technology is almost unheard of anymore, and yet one of the fastest ways to learn, especially for young students, is to take notes on new materials the old fashioned way; with pen and ink. So much has changed with writing over the years that people have forgotten the simple pleasure of hand writing a note to a loved one, or putting down all of your personal thoughts in a paper journal. It seems we have forgotten the feel of using our own handwriting to create or communicate.

Take, for example, the first paragraph above. To fend off hypocrisy I first wrote the paragraph by hand. It felt good to see my words in my own handwriting. It has always been very legible; not very professional, but very easily read. There are misspellings, letters written over, and words outside of the margins, where they were added as an afterthought. Once dictated into type the paragraph lost much of its thrill, for me, and much of its personality.

The benefits of including hand writing in your life are not just to see your own, pretty words, however. When you hand write material, rather than type it out, it is better fostered into your memory. This is especially prudent with elementary aged children. As new information is hand written out it is more easily learned because it is not done automatically. The writer needs to think about every letter as it’s formed and every word as it’s laid. When text is typed out, these subconscious processes never come about. Typed text is anonymous, almost not belonging to the writer.

When children hand write in school they also become more confident in their text. Think back to when you were very young and learning to write your own name. Over time the writing became clearer, and you became proud of your own work. This is still the same for children today, although many times handwriting is not taught as prudently.

Another benefit of hand writing, for anyone, is the emotional attachment. It seems quaint and old fashion to sit and write out a letter to a loved one. Heck, even Christmas “about our year” updates now-a-days are typed out and inserted into cards. But think about when you do receive a letter, or do write out a letter to a loved one; there is so much joy and emotion in just holding that piece of paper in your hand. That is why, so often, hand written letters are saved for lifetimes, generations even. The same is true with traditional journaling.

Almost everyone you meet today either has or has had an internet journal, or blog, to type out their thoughts and communicate all of their emotions. With a hand written journal, however, just like with children in school, so much more becomes attached to your writing; more emotion is contained within your writing, as well as released. There are studies of hand writing journals actually relieving hypertension, aiding with asthmatic breathing problems, and controlling anxiety disorders. When you release your emotions into your hand writing, you can actually be prolonging and bettering your life.

Invest in pen and paper. At first your muscles in your neglected hand will actually hurt, but in the end all you can do is win. Make sure that your child/children have hand writing included in their curriculum still, as well. Hand writing is an almost forgotten skill which is ready to be reclaimed.

Long Island Home & Lifestyle Articles > Print and Calligraphy: The Power and Benefits of Hand Writing

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