5 Calming & Brain Building Things About Handwriting | Lettering

Quiet time with pen, paper and possibility.

When’s the last time you wrote a page-full of words or filled a page with one or a few designed in your favourite homemade font? Maybe you’re more of a typing fan and haven’t written much by hand in a while. This might be more of a reading season than a writing one for you; it goes like that sometimes.

Here are some CALMING, EXHILARATING & Brain-Boosting THINGS ABOUT HANDWRITING. It would be kind of cool to list the 5 points out then sort them in categories, but this isn’t that kind of post – they’ll be more like bookmarks as you read through. It’s a light-writing morning moment…so, here we go.

Tech is handy but there’s also something to be said about the tactile too. All now, I can hear the sound of my fingers dancing across the laptop keys prepping this post for you. As a blogger and book writer, I love that feeling and sound. It makes me feel productive and purposeful – like you’re growing somewhere in real-time. But you know what else is beautiful in a calming, poetic and refreshing kind of way?

  1. The quietness that comes with the writing process. Even if you’re in a shared space where the volume fluctuates – though it might not be ideal – it’s still possible to create that quiet place within your mind as you breathe and write.

2. Taking concise notes during a class, webinar, sermon or study session is helpful for committing things to memory, sometimes in bite sizes; other times as chunks of info. Note-taking is an effective way of recording with revising for both real-time and future memory recall. It doesn’t mean we might not forget a fact or two, but the act of writing by hand emphasizes the information signal sent to the brain during that pocket of time.

A mind is a precious thing and while it isn’t healthy to continually recall or retain painful events, it’s extremely helpful to study, write out and remember things like heavenly promises, things you’re thankful for, encouraging words, important appointments, info related to your career and facts that are likely to come up on that upcoming exam.

What and when do you write?

Whether it’s a grocery list or journal entry – song lyrics, study notes, blog post ideas, lettering session, lengthy e-mail or plump social media post, recording things (whether handwritten or typed) helps you clarify and remember key points, rhyming words/lines, related items/topics, and the essence of whatever’s being documented.

If you outline something first in handwriting you might find that you remember lines and phrases verbatim when it’s typing time.

If you’re not much of a marathon hand-writer or you’re in the process of refreshing those digit muscles after discovering they’ve lost some stamina when it comes to penmanship and steadiness, try a lettering session. Pick a word, passage or quote, get a nice felt pen, marker or fountain pen plus some paper or a notebook and start outlining and filling in to suit your style. Or try refreshing your handwriting style if you find yourself making quips about it to others. It might look scratchy now, but that doesn’t always have to be so.

3. The concentration that comes with lettering…keeping a steady yet free, fluent hand…the calculated deep breaths to match the writing pace…the attention to lines, swirls, curls, pen pressure, posture and patience…and the fruit of your hands after you’ve committed pen to paper and followed through to write something you can rest on your desk, decorate your home with, share with a friend or create for customers…

it’s just a beautiful non-glamourous yet enjoyable thing…

4. Annotation: ‘a note of explanation or comment added to a text or diagram‘ (Google) or ‘a short explanation or note added to a text or image, or the act of adding short explanations or notes‘ (Cambridge Dictionary)

This one’s for the avid readers, researchers and students who always (or usually) have a pencil, pen, highlighter and paper or notebook nearby. Learning something by the rote method is not the same as understanding it. I still remember word-for-word the rhythmic description of ‘nutrition‘ from a secondary school exam but if you had asked me to explain it in my own words at the time, I would’ve have had a clue. Got it right on the test, but didn’t have much of an idea about what it actually was or how to describe it in a real sense. It was a helpful method for that application and still comes in handy with remembering phone numbers, grocery items and directions but in general, I would advise annotation (along with rote learning, if that’s your thing.)

Oh, and little note: when jotting down notes or circling keywords/ lines in a book (not a library one), it’s helpful to use a pen that’s in a different colour from the printed text.

5. Have you ever cleared out a forgotten desk drawer or opened a box that was in storage and found an old journal, letter, verse, short story or quote? Not the ones you wanna pelt in the sea immediately or burn in a bin in the backyard – but the ones that…sweetly slow you down for a second or two and remind you that you’ve always been a writer or had a thing for drawing, designing and listing. Maybe they’re just reminders of the patience you could do with right about now.

Exercise: if you have a pen and paper nearby, write a letter from the alphabet. Just one. Now on your keyboard, press the same letter. If you’re a fast typer and have a quick recall of where keys are on the board, typing the letter was faster. Writing takes a bit more time and requires a little more attention to forming out each letter. It involves different finger muscles, especially if you’re more of a phone typist than a laptop or tablet one.

Another beautiful thing about writing is literally happening as I type this. What I thought was gonna be a light and short blog post blossomed into a more comprehensive one that I hope serves you better than the half-stirred one I started in a slightly-sleepy moment.

Patience and perseverance will serve you well on your writing journey.

How about giving those scrolling or texting thumbs a rest every now and then and setting aside some gifted quiet time to handwrite…it could be a word, promise, prayer, quote, post outline or whatever you’re called to pour out on paper with pencil or pen.

Start your own blog here. By clicking the link you’re helping maintain this blog, so thanks in advance and happy writing.

Related posts: Using A Bullet Journal To Map Your Blog Post Ideas and 3 Benefits Of Writing

‘5 Calming & Brain Boosting Things About Handwriting | Lettering’ was first publishing on Joywithin blog

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