The lost art of penmanship.

Lost art of Penmanship

Photo by DigitalParadox (Creative Commons). Adapted by Writer’s Caravan.

When I came back from Paris (this statement alone is bound to make you jealous), I brought back one precious gift, a treat : a quill pen (if you are curious, I have snapped a picture at the end). It is colourful, artistic and unusual but I am not here to praise my pen. I am here to praise the lost art of penmanship. And because this article would be hypocritical otherwise, I am currently (or was before I had to type it all up) writing it on my little notebook, with my new pen. And I can tell you already, there is a difference.

You are in control. You not only have power over the words you use but also over the way they curl on the page, the way they fill the whiteness under the tip of your fingers.

How is it any different, you ask?

I have read many articles on the subject (this one in the New York Times is worth a read), and it appears that the very gesture in handwriting engages a different part of the brain. And I speak from experience; writing by hand has brought a whole new dynamic to my thought process. It is like writing your own melody, like you have dived in an ancient world where technology and keyboards are nothing but an unforeseen, albeit ineluctable, future.  So why not explore that hidden potential? It might help us learn better, faster, even be more creative.

I strive for a healthy balance between handwriting and typing. I tend to use my notebook for spontaneous ideas as I find my thoughts to flow better on paper. Yes it can be messy, yes it is filled with scribbles but the learning process is wildly different when you can see your thought process. The backspace button wipes away that lucidity.

So you ever feel stuck, if you are in the throes of Writer’s Block (again…) and the cursor on your screen is blinking naggingly, shut it down, move away from the screen and engage with words in a different way. It may just be the trigger you needed.

How often do you write with a pen on paper? Do you feel a difference when you write by hand?

And there it is. Isn’t it glorious?

Quill pen and white page


Thanks for reading.
Hop on my Facebook and Twitter caravans.

9 responses to “The lost art of penmanship.

  1. Pingback: If writing is a life buoy, music is the air that fills it. |·

  2. When it comes to writing I have two preferences: knocking out a blog post or review is always done directly on the laptop via a word processor, but if I’m writing a story it’s done in one of my many notebooks (although my memoir is being written using a processor). I just really like the feel of holding a pen and writing and seeing the words come out as I think of them. Plus, sitting in front of a computer screen tires me out.

    (Please excuse the scrappiness of this comment, I’m feeling especially lazy today.)


    • Thanks for your comment :)
      I agree, there should be a balance between handwriting and typing, it brings out different kinds of creativity.
      I love the feeling of holding a pen too. Typing seems dull by comparison…


  3. I completely agree – I have recently been struggling to write for my blog. I have headings and topics but no actual content. Then I bought myself a notebook and now I write down ideas and key points as I go along. I find actually putting pen to paper feel much less pressured and often the words flow – then I just hop on the laptop and type it up.


    • They do flow, don’t they? I find the balance is important. It’s almost like by changing means f writing, we tap into different creative sources. Thanks for stopping by. :)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I love writing by hand! I try to get 3 hand-written pages done each morning (fan of Julia Cameron’s Morning Pages). I worked really hard to have good penmanship (penmanship was the only “F” I ever received in school). I really wish I had a good quill pen. I’ve tried a few, but I don’t want to spend mega bucks on one…just yet. So instead I use my favorite Pilot G2 pens with the 0.38 blue ink.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I keep meaning to give those famous “Morning Pages” a try.
      Do you find they help you start the day well?
      I have a thing for pens. I don’t have a quill pen either but I do have pretty much every other kind in my pencil case! :D


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