To know me is to know that I am rarely without a writing instrument and paper or a journal of some sort. What began as a compulsive need to catalog my life and re imagine it in words as a child evolved into a life-long love affair with handwritten journals. I am also one loud-mouthed advocate of the brilliant book The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, the ultra-creativity book that names the handwriting of pages in a journal as a pre-requisite to a fulfilled creative life. I covet pens. I love great paper. A blank sketch pad is one of the best gifts I could get. I am a rarity in this regard, but I stand in defense of handwriting, big-time! As it turns out, handwriting can truly stimulate your brain, express your personality in its form…and can be a tool for personal growth.
Five years ago I led my first Artist’s Way creativity group online. It was an ambitious group of international artists all eager to get their mojo back. One rogue group member started sharing with others an idea to “type” the morning journal pages prescribed by Julia Cameron to be written by hand. Given I was a beginner at group leadership or guidance, my knee-jerk reaction was to send her an impassioned public message about how important handwriting was to creativity. I should have just reminded her that she wasn’t quite doing the process if she wanted to do it her way, but let it be. Hindsight is 20-20.
Handwriting- particularly in cursive- opens your mind. You can read about how writing these morning pages has transformed my own life HERE.
THIS article from Psychology Today explains the awesome effects of cursive writing on our brains. It this article it is explained:
“There is spill-over benefit for thinking skills used in reading and writing. To write legible cursive, fine motor control is needed over the fingers. Students have to pay attention and think about what and how they are doing it. They have to practice. Brain imaging studies show that cursive activates areas of the brain that do not participate in keyboarding.”
Grapho-therapy is a fascinating area of study. I once ghost-wrote a handwriting analysis book, and it taught me tons. Handwriting analysts can deduce from handwriting various personality traits. When you actively change various parts of your handwriting, you, in essence, support those changes in habit in your body & mind. Trippy stuff. This article can shed a bit of light on your handwriting as insight into your personality.
Now, what does this all mean?
It’s worth grabbing a pen or pencil you love to write with, and a paper journal or stacks of paper if you’d like and actually write!
Write nonsense, write critically, write dreamily, write with impassioned words…but write by hand.
It’s a brilliantly simple way to expand your mind and broaden your thought process!
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