It’s okay if you need an excuse…
Writing notes and letters makes me happy, so I rarely need encouragement to do it, but I find this is the exception rather than the rule. Some of you are intimidated because you think you don’t know what to say. Some find it difficult and therefore don’t like doing it. Yet, many of you may easily pick up a pen to write in your journal or scribble on a blank sheet of paper.
So to celebrate John Hancock’s birthday—now National Handwriting Day in the United States—let’s set aside previous hangups and think about creating a simple gift that will make someone else happy when they find real mail in their mailbox and a personal note from you inside that envelope.
And here’s a hint: it’s much more fun if you have some colorful, whimsical, or otherwise inspiring stationery to use. See some ideas below. Then you’re only one step away from—gasp—trying an ink color other than black or blue!
My book will really give you a boost!
If you struggle with any of the roadblocks to being an enthusiastic note and letter writer—or if you could just use a bit of a nudge—you’re in for a treat when my book is published next summer: HEARTSPOKEN: How to write notes that connect, comfort, encourage, and inspire. I’ll be sprinkling tips from the book to my email list between now and then, so be sure to get on that list HERE or use the form below. As we get closer to the mid-July publication date, I’ll have drawings and giveaways too.
John Hancock remembered
John Hancock, one of the original signers of the Declaration of Independence, is known primarily for his fancy signature on the document. National Handwriting Day is celebrated each year on January 23, Hancock’s birthday. The day was founded in 1977 by the Writing Instrument Manufacturers Association (WIMA) to celebrate the pleasure and satisfaction of composing a handwritten note using a high-quality writing implement.
National Handwriting Day, January 23
WIMA’s own description of the holiday resonates eloquently with my own love of writing handwritten letters and notes:
The lost art of handwriting is one of the few ways we can uniquely express ourselves. There’s something poetic about grasping a writing instrument and feeling it hit the paper as your thoughts flow through your fingers and pour into words. So, the Writing Instrument Manufacturers Association (WIMA) suggests you take advantage of National Handwriting Day on January 23 and use a pen or a pencil to rekindle that creative feeling through a handwritten note, poem, letter or journal entry.
Handwriting allows us to be artists and individuals during a time when we often use computers, faxes and e-mail to communicate. Fonts are the same no matter what computer you use or how you use it. Fonts lack a personal touch. Handwriting can add intimacy to a letter and reveal details about the writer’s personality. Throughout history, handwritten documents have sparked love affairs, started wars, established peace, freed slaves, created movements and declared independence.
…National Handwriting Day is a chance for all of us to re-explore the purity and power of handwriting.
Interested in the history of penmanship?
If you’re of a mind to dig a bit deeper, you might enjoy this article on the History Channel website about the history of penmanship. Parchment remnants found in ancient Roman ruins suggest they were among the first to develop a script for correspondence. By the time of the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 A.D., correspondence started becoming more intimate and personal instead of formal or transactional.
Alas, many schools today have removed cursive writing from their curriculum. It makes me sad that children may soon be unable to read the notes their elders write to them, and the decision flies in the face of the positive association between cursive writing, learning, and retention.
Have fun with personalized stationery!
As mentioned above, it’s infinitely more fun to write a note or letter when you’re writing on lovely paper that you’ve selected yourself…maybe even customized with your name and address. I’ve been a representative for years for the Carlson Craft line of printed products, and I can vouch for their quality and selection. Have fun browsing the CarlsonCraft stationery store today and call me at area code 540 and phone 436-3969 to place an order at a Heartspoken discounted price: https://stationerygift.carlsoncraft.com/.
These stunning cards are some of my favorites:
Order yourself some stationery that fits your personality (or get two or three different styles to fit whatever mood you’re in at the time) and keep it close at hand with your favorite pen, stamps, and address book. Before you know it, you’ll find it’s easy and fun to write personal notes—notes that will connect, comfort, encourage, and inspire!