My Write Hand


I recently made a startling discovery: I still have a write hand. As I mentioned in the last post, I’ve begun working through Julia Cameron’s book, The Artist’s Way. Julia is adamant about the value of applying words directly to paper with digital dexterity. For at least a couple of years, this need to wrap my fingers around a stick full of ink has deterred me from setting out on this adventure. I spend so much time sitting at the keyboard that I’d become convinced my brain had a direct connection to my fingertips only when they were spread horizontally. Furthermore, I’d become convinced that my writing muscles had atrophied.

The good news is that those muscles endure. Perhaps they were a bit out of trim, but they have sprung back remarkably well. Like so many other things, it's rather like riding a bicycle. As I consider the situation, two things have eased this transition back into penmanship. The first is using a mechanical pencil or gel pen. It doesn’t matter which. Each glides almost effortlessly across the page, reducing drag and hand fatigue. The second is taking the time to be more deliberate about my writing. If I pace myself just a tad slower, I can write for long periods of time without tiring, and my writing remains legible. I have time to savor my words and thoughts.

To my amazement, writing by hand feels rewarding. Although I stubbornly resisted the possibility this could be true, it actually is pleasant to write by hand, and inspiration comes differently. It feels more intimate. I feel more connected with my words and thoughts. I am actually looking forward to getting up each day to write in my journal. Julia’s guidebook is helpful, but the writing is taking its own direction. Perhaps I’ll come back to parts of it later.

Who knows where this discovery may lead? Will I soon crack out my Crayolas®? Will I start writing stories ala SARK with juicy pens and thirsty paper? Will I do eBooks about how to use collage in journals? Will I begin writing old-fashioned letters that require a stamp and get collected in fabric covered boxes because they are so eloquent and amazing? Any of these are possible, but I know for sure that I’ll be using my pen or pencil and writing in my journal a lot more as time goes by.

Why not give it a try yourself?

Write now: pick up a slippery pen or pencil and some paper and spend ten minutes writing whatever comes to mind. Keep your hand relaxed and don’t press. Write slowly enough to savor the feel of forming the letters. If your mind goes blank, write about “My Write Hand.”

6 comments :

ybonesy said...

it actually is pleasant to write by hand, and inspiration comes differently

I agree. It's tactile and satisfying in a way that writing on my keyboard isn't. And what comes out is, I'm positive, different. I think it's deeper, but I'm not sure.

Ritergal said...

Do you use special paper or pen?

Pat's Place said...

Thanks for reminding me that pen or pencil to paper IS rewarding. I, too, have spent way too much time at the keyboard lately! Time to return to Julia Cameron!

~Kathi said...

Thanks for sharing your lyrical style, and the links to collages in journals and SARK. I came here via Ronni Bennett and enjoyed all of your recent entries quite a bit.I'll pass on your site to friends, & feel free to visit mine!

Cheers, ~Kathi
http://mysisterwasastbernard.blogspot.com

RootsReading said...

I love the photograph that goes along with this post! I love writing in my journal with a new set of gel pens. I agree with an above comment that inspiration does come differently with a pen and paper versus a keyboard and monitor. I like to write poetry with a pen instead of my computer. And thanks for the links within the post as well!

Ritergal said...

Kathi, how nice to hear that people are still reading that Roni Bennett story. I'm glad you enjoy the blog, and I definitely enjoy yours, the way things sort of creatively flow around it.

RR, I enjoyed reading some of your posts about the story behind finding your roots. Excellent record. This could make interesting reading for other budding genealogists and your own descendants. Tying your own current life into the stories of ancestors is a fascinating approach to creating a memoir, if it ever gets to that stage.