We all remember elementary school and days spent on handwriting worksheets, trying to get all those loops and curves just right. But did you know handwriting is more than just a skill learned in school? There actually are many benefits of writing by hand and putting that good old-fashioned pen to paper, including improved creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills.
What better time to celebrate this practice than on National Handwriting Day (celebrated annually January 23)? Ring in the holiday in style by exercising your creativity, writing a letter to a loved one, sharing the love with custom pens, or doodling in a personalized notebook during a meeting (don’t worry, we won’t tell your boss!).
While on every other day of the year we turn to our keyboards and smartphones, let’s use National Handwriting Day as a chance to dust off the old pen or pencil and get writing. Here are seven ways you can celebrate the holiday alongside us.
Write a letter
There’s nothing quite like receiving a handwritten letter or card in the mail and unfortunately, this is becoming a lost art. National Handwriting Day is the perfect time to revive this tradition!
First, make a list of the friends and family you want to reach out to via mail. Next, pick up some simple postcards or stationery (Pretty Peptalks, anyone?) and think about the message you want to write.
Maybe you want to include some fun memories, a handwritten poem, or an update on how your life has been. No matter what you write, the recipient is sure to appreciate the effort and you will be practicing your penmanship at the same time.
Draw or doodle
Whether you’re on a call, sitting in a waiting room, or lounging on the couch, drawing is a great way to express some creative freedom and exercise your writing skills. Take your doodles one step further by expanding them into a larger sketch.
Who knows, you could create your next piece of art! Even if you don’t consider yourself an artist or creative person, it never hurts to tap your inner creativity with help from pen and paper.
Color in a coloring book
You might have thought that this little hobby was left in your childhood, but adult coloring books are back (and for good reason). Coloring, which is like art therapy, has been shown to reduce anxiety, create focus, and encourage mindfulness. Plus, it’s fun!
Grab some colored pencils or markers and start your own coloring book art piece to celebrate National Handwriting Day in style.
Learn what your handwriting says about you
More than just a means to an end for writing assignments, your handwriting actually is a great window into personality traits and preferences.
Graphology is the study of handwriting and analyzes a writer’s character, personality, and abilities and it’s been around for a long time. In fact, how you write can indicate more than 5,000 different personality traits and can even be used to detect certain diseases, like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, earlier.
Here are some notable characteristics:
- Writers who use large letters are more likely to be outgoing, people-oriented, and outspoken, while those who use small letters tend to be shier and more withdrawn.
- Those that write rounded letters are creative and artistic, those that write pointed letters are intelligent and curious.
- Big loops in letters indicate open-mindedness and the need for adventure, narrow loops might correlate to skepticism or restriction.
Analyze handwriting history
While you’re examining your own handwriting, try looking into some of the most famous scripts of the past. Like speech patterns and dialects, handwriting changes over time and it’s fascinating to look at the history of penmanship.
See how famous authors wrote some of their best work:
- Lewis Carroll, author of Alice in Wonderland, would not only hand write his work, but he would also add beautiful doodles within.
- David Foster Wallace, a popular postmodernism writer and poet, added stickers to his handwritten notes.
- Jane Austen’s handwriting was beautiful but mostly illegible, at least to 21st century eyes.
- Walt Whitman, the iconic humanist, poet, and writer, had picture-perfect calligraphy.
- Anyone who has read Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck won’t be surprised by his dedicated, disciplined, font-like handwriting.
Handwriting really tells a story about a writer’s work and style. Take National Handwriting Day as a time to celebrate this art form.
Create a vision board
National Handwriting Day also corresponds with the beginning of the year and making resolutions. A vision board is a great way to visualize your goals for the upcoming year and creating one from scratch is the perfect way to celebrate handwriting and art.
Vision boards are simple to make. All you need are some old magazines, newspaper, other media, and art supplies. Find things that resonate with you, such as a person in a suit for career growth or a big salad for healthy eating. Then, put them on your board. To finish the piece, hand write words of motivation.
Practice your signature
No one said that John Hancock is the only one that can have a cool signature! Your signature serves as your personal mark on everything from checks to cards, so take time on National Handwriting Day to perfect it.
Try different styles, spellings, and structures. Just initials? Full name? Larger first letter? The possibilities are endless.
Need stationery to help you send a note or two? We’ve got the right set of note cards for every occasion right here and would love to be a part of helping you reach out.