Recently, I was listening to an interview with LeVar Burton and he made a comment, along the lines of the loss of handwriting. What I grasped was, it took him a bit of time to sort out the longer handwriting of a message based on how we are always tweeting and messaging in shorter, quicker words. I might be missing his meaning as I only half-caught the interview, but it did prompt this thought to me…I did lose my ability to think and write using pen and paper because I was in a rush to finish, to get something done, instead of taking the time to enjoy the process.
Last week, the time just before catching this interview, I had handwritten all my story sections and it was enjoyable. I realized putting pen to paper was freeing. I didn’t have the computer program automatically highlighting my goofs. I wasn’t concerned with the backspace and delete keys…I was getting more writing done than constant editing.
And, yet, I’m typing this directly into my computer because the idea for this posting came to me while I was at the computer and I didn’t want to lose the words. I’m struggling to keep the other idea prompt for my ChrisChatReviews blog and will be opening another document as soon as I finish this sentence (which I did and started to type).
When I was in the hospital and fighting to regain muscle and muscle strength, one of the strangest things happened…I couldn’t write. I could not physically hold a pen and write my name. Now, it’s one thing to be stumped writing a letter or a story scene, even the spelling of a word. But, to go from being able to write your own name to not being able to make your hand, arm, to the pen do what it is you want…that’s scary. My first thought was how am I ever going to write again. Losing, even for a brief time period, the ability to do something you have done freely all your life, well, it’s an eye-opener…a terrifying one.
I started writing exercises that day. And I grew stronger and I regained my ability to write how I had always done before.
This is what handwriting your story, a letter, something more than a grocery list or note to put out the week’s garbage on the family to do list, will give you. The more you handwrite the better you will get at it. The better your ideas will flow.
There are jokes throughout social media of the older generation sending secret messages in cursive because the younger generation isn’t taught it anymore…so go print your story. Print it with a pen, pencil, colour ink pen, whatever, just go and bring back the full experience of the instrument flowing across the paper.
It will be messy to start. It will be sore on your hands and forearms. It will be rewarding. It will be so satisfying to see your words without a program telling you the spelling is wrong even when it is right because you used British spelling versus American. It’s refreshing to scratch out and restart instead of a simple backspace erase. You get to see your words in all their creation.
And, while we do recycle, that feeling of crumpling up a sheet of paper and basketballing it into the bin…heaven. Messy, but heaven.
Now…go write or print…no one is looking in judgement like the computer does.