Monday, March 19, 2012

Write with your hands.

My dad made a New Year's resolution this year to write a letter to someone every day of the year.  He admits that he's been slacking a little bit, but I bet he's still written more letters this year than any of us have written.  I was lucky enough to be one of the recipients of one of his letters.  It was great to have a whole, two-sided piece of paper with his own handwriting on it-- a nice little piece of home.  Sometimes I wonder how many people in my generation and younger can pick out their family members' handwriting.  I know I can do it with all five of my family members', but I don't ever really talk to other people about their families' handwriting, so I really don't know.

It's easy to forget how nice it is to get a handwritten letter in the mail.  I love to think that that person actually sat down to manually write out an entire letter to you.  It's a dying form of communication.  Honestly, handwriting things in general is dying out because of the intense rise in technology.  I think it affects the quality of handwriting, which is really a shame.  I know that my handwriting is pretty messy, and I think that's at least partially because I hardly ever write things by hand.  I write little notes to myself-- grocery lists and passing thoughts-- but nothing super long.  I wish I had better handwriting.  I love looking at cool handwriting.  My grandfather, for example, had really cool handwriting.  It had a personality (it also may have been that he always had good things to say).  I can't really describe it very well, but it wasn't super neat or super messy.  It was just very him.  Mine is just...well I guess it's "me," but it also looks like shit.

It's so much more authentic, raw, to write something by hand.  Think about how cool it is to see writing samples of famous dead people (even the signatures on the Declaration of Independence are pretty cool).  The problem is that a lot of the time, I have so much going through my head, that I forget the end of the thought I was writing by the time I get to the end of the sentence.  I even had to type up this concept quickly last night so I wouldn't forget to put it in a post.  Our minds are slowly being trained to not need to retain anything for too long.
Remember these?

Yesterday, I found an old playlist that made me feel nostalgic about my time in Wyoming, so I decided to write a letter to my friends out there.  It was incredibly fun.  I haven't talked to any of them in years, and I'm really excited to send the letter along.  It felt good to write it.

So I've decided that I'm going to try to write by hand more.  Even if I'm not going to send it to anyone, I'm going to try to write out all of my story idea notes and things like that by hand-- or at least most of them-- I might have to type some stuff if I have a lot going through my mind and need to get it all down in some sort of text quickly.

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