Hand Writing Matters : Journal Magic -- Words into Wisdom

Hand Writing Matters

by Sue Meyn on 10/07/10

For years I've heard differing opinions from people about the importance--or lack thereof--in writing by hand. Grandmothers shake their fingers at those who've forgotten how to write a thank you note, or a simple letter. We've all gone electronic in so many ways. I, for one, still want to journal with my pen in hand. It seems we have some support for this now.

My husband brought home an article for me to read from The Wall Street Journal (Oct. 5, Personal Journal: How Handwriting Trains the Brain) Now we know, through brain research, that we all benefit by writing by hand. "It seems there is something really important about manually manipulating and drawing out two-dimensional things we see all the time."  So we somehow connect more with what we are writing, and stimulate the brain, by handwriting.

Later in the article it states: "Other research highlights the hand's unique relationship with the brain when it comes to composing thought and ideas." This is something I have "felt" when I work on a project. It feels to me as though I MUST begin my creative exploration with pen in hand. After I have ideas strung together I can turn to my keyboard, where editing is so much simpler, but initially I feel that in order to "touch" my creative reservoir I must write by hand.

Interesting how neural science is supporting some feelings many of us have had intuitively. Would love to hear what others think about this!

Comments (5)

1. JoniB said on 10/7/10 - 01:09PM
I agree! It's rather comforting to have something we've "known" be confirmed by those "in the know". Ha-ha! Good post!
2. Sue said on 10/11/10 - 08:33AM
Thanks Joni, You may be the only one reading this---and I do appreciate all your comments! HUgs, Sue
3. Kathleen Ulrich said on 12/3/10 - 10:00AM
I think there's a lot of truth in that. However, I have such bad handwriting and have had such bad handwriting all my life, that I often can't read whatI have written in the past. I just went through old journals to clean them up and sometimes out, and found that some of them are totally secure as they just can't be read consistently. Also, if I write and get on a kick, I then may need to translate it to my computer. Being either lazy or too busy, or both, that means it may never get beyond the handwritten page. Speaking of journaling, I just read "Cancer Has Made me a Shallower Person." It is in the Wellness Community library. The author uses cartoons to journal and I could really identify with her wry sense of humor. I have used drawing stick figures in the past as a method of journaling. It's very interesting how expressive those little figures can be. They definitely helped me through some hard times in the past.
4. Kathleen Ulrich said on 12/3/10 - 10:01AM
Where do I leave a new screen name for your e-mails?
5. Sue said on 2/21/11 - 02:52PM
Kathy! Well, sorry I missed your comment until now. Yes, I guess legible handwriting is an issue though many don't go back to read what they've written--but just appreciate the experience of 'getting it out'. As for new email address---just sign up for the newsletter again on the home page of the site. Thanks for reading!

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