We live in a very modern world. I remember when I was in school, and learnt how to write in cursive, as the teachers set in me the expectation that I would only be writing in cursive from there on out. As it turns out, I almost never wrote in cursive following sixth grade… and papers that I had to “write” for school ended up getting typed instead.
Indeed, we are in a culture where people do very little writing by hand, in favor of using the keyboard or the virtual keyboard. (I am not a fan of the latter, as it is hard to use and the “fat finger syndrome” more easily kicks in.) As I have mentioned many times before on my blog, there are many times where I prefer to be old-fashioned. Let me give a few examples.
As is well-known on this blog, I keep a journal daily (although I don’t always write physically in it each day, I write something with regards to each day). Take a look at the header image of the blog–it is an example of my hand-writing in a journal! I also later transcribe the journals to my computer through word-processing (or text-files, to be compiled into a PDF via the LaTeX language). Now, there were a few examples of times where I had my journal entries ONLY on the computer, but these were few and far between:
- Some full-journal days where I had a lot to write, and wanted to quickly transcribe for the blog (example: Molly’s wedding or the 2012 Walk Now For Autism Speaks). I am faster at typing than at hand-writing, particularly since I write in block letters.
- During Phase One of the Character Building Trial, I typed my journals because trying to write with my left hand was something that I failed to learn.
Most of my correspondence is done by e-mail or electronic means. But, when I write thank-you notes, I insist on writing them by hand and potentially delivering them in person. This is somewhat based off my code of personalization, which I beat around the bush with in a previous post.
Writing hand-written letters is something that I rarely do, but I think it is the ultimate method of personalized communication. Although I love chatting with people face-to-face, a person’s writing often resembles their speaking. In that sense, reading a hand-written letter from someone can be the equivalent of listening to their voice, even if they are far away.
After having been moved so frequently by Sunny-Side Up With Kristin and Lindsay, a few weeks after the show had ended, I felt moved to write a personalized letter to both of them. They were completely surprised and delighted by this. A person’s hand-writing (whether in cursive or block letters!) is also an extension of their personality, and so having a sample of the person’s writing is almost as if they were there with you wherever the writing is!
I should really consider writing hand-written letters to others in a personal sense more frequently, as it really felt good to do it as mentioned in the previous paragraph. Although I do rely on the keyboard for a lot of purposes, and could not see society returning to a pre-keyboard era, there IS a lot of merit in writing by hand.
Today is the three-hundred and eighty-sixth day of Mission 441. Fifty-five days remain.
(The Daily Prompt that inspired this post, even though it was from two days ago: “When was the last time you wrote something substantive — a letter, a story, a journal entry, etc. — by hand? Could you ever imagine returning to a pre-keyboard era?”)
How interesting that my Low Tech Part I post was also from a Daily Prompt.