My Hand, a Pen, and Paper


This was perhaps one of the most challenging posts I’ve ever attempted to write.

Yesterday, because the weather was absolutely gorgeous, I spent the afternoon outside sitting in the grass, eating my granola yogurt, and putting myself through a little test.

I wanted to see if I could compose this blog post, by writing it out in longhand instead of using a computer keyboard. I was curious to see if I could still use my hand, a pen, and piece of paper.

Well let me tell you…about halfway through, I was getting ready to lose it.

It was the most annoying thing I think I’ve ever experienced.

I felt like a mentally challenged caveman trying to write his first essay; using a piece of slate and a river rock.

Normally my penmanship is very legible (I went to catholic school), but when I went back to read the first two paragraphs I had written, it looked like it was the handwriting of a serial killer.

I honestly had trouble reading some of my own words.

And it’s interesting, because as I wrote, I found myself getting impatient because I couldn’t write the words as fast as I could, using a keyboard. I was holding onto the pen so tight, that it caused a tension in my arm, which traveled up to my shoulder and neck. It was like my computer brain was saying, “Come on hand…get a move on!!”

The process of writing something by hand seemed almost foreign to me.

I also forgot how to spell the most simplest of words. Words such as: tension, experience and piece, caused me to go, “Duh…what’s up doc?!”

And the whole time I’m sitting there, all I kept thinking about was how I couldn’t WAIT to get home and get my fingers on that keyboard and spellcheck, so I could write this post.

This little test caused me to think about the last time I ever sat down and wrote a letter to someone.

(like, maybe 1998?)

And lately, I even find myself sending people e-cards instead of writing inside a paper greeting card.

I love computers, don’t get me wrong - there’s definitely a lot of positives to them. But it appears to me, that this consistant use of a computer has caused me to forget how to actually hand write, other than filling in a couple of lines on my rent check each month.

So I think the first thing I’m going to do, is buy myself one of those old-fashion composition books, and then see if I can hire a nice, sweet catholic school nun to re-teach me the Palmer Method of Writing….so I can get my hand flowing again.






And I cannot lie Sister, I composed this entire post by using a keyboard…GODAMN IT!

24 comments

  1. So funny, I do still do quite a bit of hand writing in my work but my writing is terrible I feel so embarrassed that other people have to read it. You are so right about it taking longer.

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  2. Hello Ron,
    OH pain of it... I know what you mean there. I can still write letters to people, but it takes me awhile to get motivated.
    I think we all are more conditioned to write with the PC now that we are into blogs & the like.
    Brainwashed !!!

    I can just see the fellow on the green grass of Washington square, laboring away on a sheet of paper !
    "What is that man doing ? "Say the neighboring squirrels !

    Well relax; you made it !!

    Hugs back to ya XXXX

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  3. 1998?

    *shaking head*
    Cuz I still like GETTING mail.....REAL mail and not just some advertisment or bill......I keep the practice of cool paper and pens.

    I'm a practiced person with pen and paper--and I love a new pad and a new mechanical pencil....or a cool pen!

    Yup--definitely type faster than I write, and the content is different as well.

    But I write longhand at the close of the day. Doing that longhand versus typing it out makes the world of difference. It slows down my brain. And what comes out on the paper is more honest.
    I tried doing my nightly writing on the computer. I could do it--but the quality of what I was doing greatly altered.

    Some things won't get to change for me--that nightly writing will stay an exercise of 'pen to paper'. That's 'required' of WPIML.
    In this 'hurry up and wait' world, it's a good thing for me to slow myself down and do some basics that require more effort and less 'convenience'. KWIM?

    <-- knows what she means

    But I'm kinda excited for you to practice.....and interested in what the difference will be if/when you post it here.

    Ohhhhhhh..maybe you oughta do an experiment!!! :-)

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  4. I can't write by hand either Ron! It's a terrible thing, isn't it? We are such computer spoiled people! You know what I did though? had my handwriting made into a font so that I can just type it. LOL!!!

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  5. OH I used to love writing letters. I even had some pretty stationery, sometimes with matching envelopes! I think we used to spritz our letters with a little perfume too or add some stickers. Of course I was still a teenager and that was popular back then. I guess it's a blessing and a curse that today things are superfast with computers. Information is at our fingertips and we don't even have to keep up with grammar and punctuation because so many people are using the LOL's and IMO's and
    HAHA's, etc. And like you mentioned, spellcheck. I don't use that so much but will have a tab with an online dictionary ready to look something up. Like 'stationary' and 'stationery'. LOL

    A blog buddy of mine still does write letters that go out in snail mail. And she's a stickler for proper use of words. I've used some of those abbreviated ones with her in email and she'll ask me right away, what is THAT???

    Not too long ago I saw a kit in Barnes and from what I could tell it looked like a book on letter writing, paper, and maybe some wax to melt a seal on the envelope. Looked like fun. Ah, but I didn't buy it, just went right back to emailing. But wouldn't it be terrific to get something done by hand in the mail, a nice long letter and a few pictures included. Anything other than the normal bills and junk mail would be wonderful! I still might look into a set sometime. It really sounds enjoyable. Now if I could only remember which hand I write with??? LOL
    Actually, I am LEFT-HANDED. So you know I probably wouldn't have stood a chance in Catholic school back then. Didn't they used to whack you with a ruler for acting up or not using the right hand??

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  6. Morning Lady in Red!

    Oh man, it's so great that you at least get to practice your handwriting at work!

    I barely write anymore, and when I do...it's like I actually have to think about it!!?!?

    Yes...it's definately the speed of typing on a keyboard that I has affected my ability to hand write.

    Thanks for stopping by, Lady!

    WRITE on!

    Enjoy your day!
    X

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  7. Bonjour Barbara!

    OMG...and do you know what's hysterical?

    I was always so apprehensive about getting a computer because of this EXACT reason...and look what happened....

    HOLY MOLY...I CAN'T WRITE ANYMORE!!!

    But I think a few months with Sister Michael teaching me Palmer, will do the trick!!

    HAHAHAHAHA!

    Yesterday, I walked over the art museum area and sat by the Rodin under a tree. It was FAAAAAAABULOUS! And I think it's hysterical that I was sitting by the Thinker!!!

    Thanks for stopping by, Barb!

    Hope you had a great St. Patty's Day!

    Love to you and Didier!

    X

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  8. Mornin' Mel!

    YES!...I do believe it was probably around 1998!!

    Isn't that a sin???

    It's interesting that you shared about the differences in your handwriting versus using the computer for your nightly writing (journaling), because I when I wrote this post, I discovered the website forum for The Artists Way where they spoke of the same thing.

    They shared that writing paper to pen, made a difference in their creative expression. It slowed the mind down.

    Well...I guess there's a lesson in this for me, hu?

    Slow down Ron!!

    I think it's time for me to journal again too!

    Thanks a bunch for sharing on this post, Mel!

    You've giving me much to ponder!

    HAPPY WEDNESDAY!

    X

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  9. Hellooooo Nicole!

    OMG...where did you ever find a way to font your handwriting???

    What a GREAT idea!!!

    And yes, I agree...computers have spoiled me in many ways. But DAMN...I LOVE THEM!!!!

    Always great seeing ya, Nicole!

    Thanks for dropping by today!

    Have a great Wednesday!

    X

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  10. Morning Crystal Chick!

    Oh boy...your comment brought back SOOOOO many wonderful memories for me.

    I used to be a HUGE letter writer, myself. I had boxes and boxes of paper, note cards, and special pens I would use.

    I cannot BELIEVE you mentioned WAX, because when I was a kid, I had several sticks of sealing wax with my very own SEAL. MY cousin and I would mailed waxed envelopes back and forth to each other. Some of the wax even had glitter in it!

    I do the same thing, M. I use my word processor dictionary look-up while I'm writing a post. I try to make sure that I really LOOK at the word after I check it for spelling, just to make sure I remember it for the next time.

    So you're left-handed?

    How cool! So is my brother. He can actually write using both hands, but is prodominately a "lefty."

    YES!!!...in catholic school the nun's would try to make all the left-handed kids into righ-handed kids. In fact, that was part of the Palmer Method. Isn't that awful?? And if you didn't...WHACK with the ruler!!

    "Yes Sister Dearest."

    HAHAHAHAHAHA!

    Thanks for dropping by, M!

    This was like taking a trip down "handwriting memory lane"

    Enjoy your Wednesday! Isn't the weather great?

    X

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  11. It's always been quicker for me to type something rather than write it because I touch type. I used to write letters regularly but once email became available I abandoned my pen. I did so enjoy writing letters though and I always used a fountain pen with an italic nib. Our English teacher at senior school insisted we all wrote italic!

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  12. Afternoon Akelamalu!

    Holy Cow....I totally forgot about fountain pens!!!

    Being someone who attended catholic school, our desks always had a an ink well in the upper right-hand corner.

    I remember those days when I would get blue ink all over my fingers, too!

    YUCK!

    But they were FUN!

    The nuns insisted that we ONLY use blue ink.

    I know...it seems as though I've abandoned my pen also!!

    ROCK ON EMAILS!!!!

    Thanks for stopping by, dear lady!

    Happy Wednesday to ya!

    X

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  13. I hear you!!! For me, filling out a form becomes pure agony. I do miss the old days of waiting for a letter, opening it and seeing the effort that people have put into writing them.

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  14. Greetings Rewind~

    Welcome...thank you for stopping by and taking the time to share a comment!

    So nice meeting you!

    OMG...you're so right-on about having to fill out a form! Nowadays, with all the online application forms, there's no need to even use a pen anymore. It's no wonder I forgot how to use one!

    How true!...those wonderful days of standing by the mailbox waiting for a REAL letter that actually has handwriting in it!?!?!

    "Memories...light the corners of my mine"

    HAHAHHAHAHA!

    Please stop by anytime, Rewind!

    You're always welcome!

    Enjoy your evening.

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  15. You're so right!

    And have you tried adding without a calculator lately? If one isn't handy, I put my hands under the table so no one sees me counting on my fingers.

    Ahh...modern technology.

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  16. OMG...Chrissy!!!!

    I ARE SOOOOO RIGHT!!!

    About two months ago, my calculator broke, so instead of going out and immediately purchasing a new one, I decided to see if I could add and subtract numbers WITHOUT using one.

    Well....that lasted about one week, because LIKE YOU...I was adding and subtracting using my FINGERS!!!

    And when I finally got a new one, it felt like I could actually BREATHE better!

    HAHAHHAAHAHAHAHHA!

    tis' a pity...isn't it?

    Thanks for stopping by, dear lady!

    Hope you had wonderful day!

    X

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  17. ronnie...no don't get the nun. She will only hit you in the back of the head and make you say 10 Hail Marys and 5 Our Fathers.

    Oh and by the way that was my usual confessional penance for looking at Playboy mags...and saying I cursed every once in a while.

    In confession, I tried to just saying I used curse words...and still got 10 Hail Marys and 5 Our Fathers.

    I figured I got it for the curse words and that looking at Playboy mags was okay...No prayers to do if I persuded the mag to the centerfold. Hello!

    As for writing letters...do they still make writing tablets. hehehe.

    I tried it a few time ronnie...but the writing tablet didn't auto correct my spelling errors...what the hell!

    Oops. that's a curse word, huh.

    Gotta go to confession again. I better call Father John and let him know I'll be there...he likes to take a lunch when I show up.

    Ciao ronnie sweetie. :D

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  18. Dearest Sister Spiky Jones!

    YOU CRACK ME UP!!!!!!!

    You little Playboy devil, you!!

    Hey listen, I can't even tell you the LAST time I ever went to confession!!

    Like maybe 35 years ago?!?!?

    OMG...you and I WERE SO ALIKE, because every single time I went to confession, I told the priest I cursed 6 times that week, when in fact, I NEVER cursed, I just didn't have anything to tell him so I LIED! Which then caused me to have a SIN to confess for the next time!

    HAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    I actually went out and bought one of those composition books. However, I don't think I'll be using it for anything other than scrap paper!

    Thanks for stopping by Sister Jones!

    You've adding many blessings to this post!!!

    Now say your penance, and then go have a nice glass of wine!!!

    Ciao bella
    X

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  19. have computers ever put a dent in MY handwriting which used to be beautiful and now is pretty shaky, thanks to typing all the time....it was very spencerian and now is losing the flair with each passing year....i make myself, literally MAKE MYSELF, write in a journal most days by hand, for at least a couple of pages to keep my handwriting up...i have a thing about it, i think, just like YOU....it just about kills my hand to do it too...what the hell is that about???? i wrote for years without a keyboard and now, it's like my right hand is 93...(and I went to catholic schools too and remember the ruler coming down on my little fist if i was holding the stupid pencil wrong or went over the top line on those lined papers we used to have to use...remember those?

    crap....what witches some of those "nuns" were.. ;)

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  20. Hiya Linda!

    OMG...you went to catholic school too????

    YES...those damn rulers coming down on your knuckles were like HELL! I can't believe they actually got away with hitting us. And my mother was one of those parents who said, "Well, if the nun hit you...she must have had GOOD reason."

    CHILD ABUSE!!!!

    ooooh...and yes, I do remember those special penmanship books with the lines. It had a dashed line in the middle, right?

    OY VEY....NOT good memories!!

    tee, hee

    Thanks for stopping by, dearest lady!

    XO

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  21. I know what you mean. Computers are to at your finger tips sort of speak. E-cards was never one of my favs years ago. But I find I use them more and more.

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  22. Me too Grumpy...

    ...I never knew e-cards even existed until a friend of mine started sending them to me during the holidays.

    I mainly use the Hallmark website, where they're FREE!

    And I LOVE free!!!

    Have great evening!

    X

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  23. I have the same problem. I cannot write posts or "thought" pieces longhand anymore. I used to love to write and now I HATE it! LOL

    Remember Sister Mary Elephant?

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  24. Bwwhahahahahahaahah!

    Oh shit Nitebyrd...YES, I DO remember Sister Mary Elephant!!!

    I think we ALL had a Sister Mary Elephant, didn't we????

    God...if those nun's could ONLY see use NOW using a keyboard, they'd shit!

    X

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