I got the idea of writing this post while scrolling through the newly pressed section of the website. Someone else had written something about writing things by hand. I didn’t read the post, but it did inspire me to write this one.
Why do I care?
That’s an excellent question. Why do I like to journal by hand? There’s something deeply personal and intimate about writing in your own hand. Maybe you’re thinking, “What? There’s nothing intimate or personal about it!” I’d argue that you’re wrong. Think about computers, tablets, cell phones, etc. Is there anything authentically you about them? Does typing out a message on electronics communicate anything about who you are or what you’re feeling? Unless you’re using an emoticon, the answer is no. I love the feeling of my hand gliding across a page, leaving behind memories that I can one day look back on – my handwriting helps inform me of what mood I was in when I wrote it and I like that versatility. To me there is something very special about handwriting when writing. I can gently rest my hand on the paper when I pause to pursue a thought and then I can fluidly pick it back up and continue. Then there’s the smell. Okay, I know that might sound weird, but typing on a computer doesn’t have a smell (unless your computer is combusting, in which case you may want to worry about that first). Journals themselves have specific smells, whether it’s the rustic smell of an old book, the warm or cool smell of leather (depending on which kind of leather), or the smell of residual ink left on the pages. It’s so comforting that it puts me in a really good place to start writing.
Why should you care?
So much can be communicated through handwriting. Then you have to ask the question: “Do I print or use cursive?” Well, I’m a huge proponent of cursive, but I do have to admit that recently I have been using print in my current journal. So, what can be communicated?
- Emotion (Are you angry? Excited? Calm?)
- Writing style (do you put loops on your letters? Are your letters consistent? Do they vary?)
- Personality (Is your writing neat and orderly? Does it have a certain flair?)
One of the best parts of journals, for me, is that you can express your individuality. Journals come in all shapes, sizes, materials, and colors and you can pick out the one that best suits your personality or mood, or just pick one out that speaks to you.