January 23 marks an obscure holiday that Dictionary.com, despite being a website, fully endorses: National Handwriting Day. Handwriting Day is not just a holiday dedicated to penmanship. Today is about you, and what makes you you. Your handwriting is unique and it is personal. It is as important and distinctive as your fingerprints. It doesn’t matter if it looks like chicken scratch or like Spencerian script; it is yours and yours alone. (Even Jane Austen was known for having terrible handwriting.) With every pen stroke there is something so pure and so human. We reconnect with ourselves and create a personal connection with others, sometimes a connection more intimate than a handshake or a hug, through handwriting.
There are hundreds of thousands of fonts in the world. But there are approximately 7.1 billion people on the planet, which means there are potentially 7.1 billion types of handwriting. Every style of handwriting, including yours, is special in its own right.
Today I encourage you to embrace the slowness of your script and to take a few minutes to do one or all of the following:
1. Try handwriting one of your social media posts, take a photo of it, and then post it. Bonus points if you include the hashtags #HandwritingDay and #mHDay. They will be collected into a gallery here.
2. Instead of texting or Facebooking a long-distance friend or relative, send them a postcard or write them a letter. US postage prices are actually going up on January 26th–so this would be a great excuse for you to stock up on Forever stamps. Plus, who doesn’t love mail?
3. If you’re the type (pun intended) to type your notes in class or in a meeting–detach your fingers from your QWERTY and jot those notes down by hand. Studies have shown that you’re more likely to remember the content you’re trying to absorb if you write out your notes.
How are you going to be celebrating Handwriting Day?