The Importance of Handwritten Things

Image of a modern fountain pen writing in curs...

Image of a modern fountain pen writing in cursive script. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I went to a memorial service this weekend for my dear friend, Nancy, who was also a writer, journalist and poet. Part of the service was a wonderful slide show set to music showing photographs of Nancy throughout her life and interspersed throughout this presentation were shots of beautiful, serene scenery and a few of Nancy’s handwritten poems. I was instantly struck by the importance of handwritten materials.

I have posted in the past the question about how you write; whether by hand or on a keyboard and it seems everyone has their own method, often combining both. But more than the writing process, this moment last weekend showed me how terribly important and personal handwriting is.

I know many schools don’t even teach cursive writing anymore and there is less emphasis on neat handwriting. I find this terribly sad!

As I read Nancy’s wonderful words, written in her familiar script, I felt an immediate connection to her. I don’t think this would have come across as strongly if the words had been typed.

I think of all of the recipes and letters my mother has given me over the years. They make me smile when I see her familiar style of writing. I still have hand written letters sent to me by my father and feel his style of writing is a direct reflection of his personality as well

I know this is why we save the first drawings and letters written by children. These are all snapshots of exactly who they were at that moment.

Will future generations miss all of this if the only records of their family and friends are all digitally generated, all using the same fonts and styles? The words themselves will have to have even more meaning and feeling but I think we will lose something incredibly important!

I have always kept letters and cards from the people who mean the most to me and in light of the digital age, will cherish these even more.

Do you think we should keep writing by hand? Will we lose an important connection to people without it?

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9 thoughts on “The Importance of Handwritten Things

  1. Carla says:

    I still have most of the handwritten notes from my middle school and high school friends. Some of them are slips of paper passed in school or (gasp!) during church services.

    And I alternate between writing by hand and by computer. A lot of my fiction starts out writing scenes in a notebook — especially if I’m mentally blocked.

  2. Sue Hlousek says:

    Especially at this time of year I too have kept notes given to me by people that I love. Some still bring a laugh out loud response while others bring tears to my eyes.
    A beautifully, thoughtful expression Sher, thank you,
    Love you,
    Mom

  3. Nicole says:

    it is so funny that you posted this today…I am planning on posting a handwritten note on my blog tomorrow! I think it is very sad that cursive is no longer being taught, its such a beautiful form of expression…it’s like losing a priceless artifact.

  4. I’ve always preferred using computers just because it’s so much easier and neater to edit. I never even thought about how I’m “missing” the charming uniqueness of my words being in my own handwriting. I think the words are unique in their own right. However, I definitely see your point and am surprised that I never gave it much thought. (It makes me feel very young and modern! Ugh.)

    • I’m so glad you said what you did! Since you are younger I’m thrilled to hear your thoughts about this. I’m a little sad because, like I feared, you never gave it much thought. But I’m happy because now you might!? Thank you for commenting!

  5. kcourt40 says:

    Thanks so much for linking to my blog – glad you enjoyed it 🙂

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