5 realisations when I went back to handwriting

In the pursuit of experimenting and exploring various things to do (so that I can pin down which ones I really really want to do), I stumbled upon an article on how the brain benefits when we write (and not type) with hands.

Point to note # 1

Handwriting and me have a history. I have loved writing and remember the times when I used to write pages and pages of letters and post it or hand-deliver it. I was proud of my handwriting. Not that its the best and consistent one would find, but pretty decent. This was often a point of teasing and debates between my friends and me.

Point to note # 2

In an attempt to develop a daily routine which can keep me charged up for the day (at least), I prepare and share thought of the day and as far as possible aligning to the theme #MondayMotivation, #TuesdayThoughts, #WednesdayWisdom, #ThankfulThursday, #FridayFeelings and weekends are bonus, if I do. There are some days when I have missed doing this but overall I try to follow this routine.

Years ago I had the same habit but back then it was just sharing it as plain text. This time the visual designs and illustrations were part of it. I used Canva for making the designs and must say such tools make it so easy for non-designers like me to generate a beautiful output

Coming back to the article on handwriting, I considered why not to combine Point to note #1 and #2 and I started this experiment.

My handwritten output isn’t as neat and as pretty as the Canva (rather a machine) generated the design. Sometimes it takes more time to think of the illustration that I can draw (am not a native art person) and furthermore to execute it, which can be so easily done by just by including a relevant picture or an image in soft copy.

Still, I am loving it. This #handwriting goal has made me realise

# It is you, who has to think

With no mind readers like Google (and other AI stuff) who often suggest what you could be thinking or even sometimes what you should be thinking while doing a hand-written task, your brain needs to do some work. Alternatively, the task of thinking and expressing the thoughts can be separated (like I do in case of poetry writing), from the first draft to the finalisation of content is on the computer (supported by AI) and then final output is then noted on a paper. But even in this case, you need to think and be aware of how the content is to be written, will it fit in the page, its alignment etc. Its only the ideation process can be separated

#Makes self-reliant

 You have to think and you also need to aware and mindful about many other aspects. While writing by hand on a paper, you don’t get any “red or green underlines” to highlight wrong spellings and grammar, nor auto-correction of words nor auto-alignment to the grid etc.

Since you are doing everything, your intelligence and your imagination are put to use. Thus if you are trying to reduce dependence on machines or digital detoxification, traditional way of writing by hand is a good way (of course may not be applicable for all situations)

#Takes you closer towards “Getting it right the first time”

Once you have written (or drawn or painted), it becomes tedious to edit. Either you need to follow a two-step process of first making a rough draft and then making it final or need to use erasable stationery or re-do.

It helps to develop the tendency of writing carefully and properly (not limited to spellings, but overall presentation) so that rework and editing are avoided. In other words, Getting it right the first time (one of the principles of quality management)

#Appreciate the beauty of imperfection

In my case (maybe because I am not a trained artist), there are variations in the writing style, font size, alignment etc. The overall output hence may not look as consistent as a system-generated one.

Nonetheless, the imperfect output is appealing. That just makes you realise beauty is in the eye of the beholder and also not everything has to be spic and span (unless you are Hercule Poirot or have OCD)

#It is a booster for the brain

I could feel the difference and the satisfaction it gives me. In fact so much that I have started waking up earlier so that I can spend uninterrupted time figuring out the thought for the day and putting the same down on paper.

Some scientific and psychology study results do indicate that handwriting is really good for the brain.

Having experienced so many good things with handwriting, I know not everything nor every time, one can choose the handwritten approach. There are other aspects like making your content discoverable, scalability, outreach etc. where a handwritten method will not work out. I support #GoGreen initiative and hence am mindful about the number of pages I end up in this exercise.

I follow the handwritten process only for selective areas and that itself gives enough activity to my brain the energy and satisfaction to my heart.

All other places, still its the keyboard and system that I use. Like now even when I typing my handwriting experience !!

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