Join Natalie as she discusses the Modern world and whether or not we are losing our love for penmanship? or more importantly if that really matters when creativity is the real goal.
Handwriting, and its Role in the Modern World
Handwriting has played a massive role in my life, ever since great aunt Hetty
taught me how to use pen and ink.
‘Handwriting says so much about people,’ she’d say, and she was absolutely
right. Those fluid little lines and swirls are the DNA of personality, as unique
as a fingerprint.
Those who know me well understand how deep my love for fine stationery
runs. I have an extensive collection of pens and quills and love to try them out
on various paper types. It's remarkable how different they all feel. Some pens
seem more suited for lists and order, others for scribbles and furious
As for writing style, I’m the slanting, spidery sort, joining everything together in
a sweeping cursive. When my hand moves fluently across a page, I feel total
focus, a genuine connection to what I am doing. It helps me uncover the
purpose behind the piece, unravelling and spilling out until I reduce the work
down to its basic elements. That is why for me, writing by hand is always the
first port of call when starting a body of work.
The Story of our Lives
I have a gazillion note pads. If I continue collecting at the current rate, I fear I'll
need a second home. In a state of what can only be described as compulsion,
I carefully find the correct notepad for each idea. I have dream diaries, To-do
books, ideas journals, project notebooks, picture pads, and even a positivity
folder. They help me stay on track and ensure a good idea is never lost.
There is a great pride too, that comes from seeing your collected works sitting
on your shelf. It shows commitment. By clearing the mind, you’re allowing
your brain to be more effective, free from the burdens of worry and distraction.
Journals are our backups—memory cards in a sense. When we commit our
thoughts to paper, we give them acknowledgement, and are therefore more
likely to act on them.
I chat with many people who express a keen interest in journaling. but fear
what to put on that all-important first page. 'I don't want to spoil the book,
they say, What can I possibly write about?' Well, this is a question of confidence,
and it is precisely what you stand to gain when you begin to lay down the
workings of your mind. It creates accountability, awareness and a deeper
understanding of who you truly are. By putting these little pieces of ourselves
on the page, we are saying, 'We exist and we matter.'
Is Handwriting still a Core Life Skill?
Handwriting is hugely important. For me, it is an extension of my creative brain,
intrinsically linked to my imagination. When we reach for a pen, we give our ideas a
means of escape. Otherwise, they are wasted, trapped and crying out for attention.
It’s the perfect recipe for emotional overload.
Writing has its own rewards. It's lots of fun, and I love the way it looks and feels. It
opens up a window to inner peace. That plane of existence where serenity lives, yet
we seldom experience in the chaos of modern life. It is a talking point between
friends, as we comment on each other's writing styles. It will be a great shame if this
new generation doesn't get that chance to witness their own unique form.
There will always be a place for personal letters. To those we love, to new
customers, even to complaints departments. It shows we have taken the time to be
present in that moment, and that we care about the topic. When we write a letter to
someone, we give them our time and authenticity. We offer them a small piece of
ourselves. Our handwriting is our own, just for us, and in a world of mass conformity,
why lose yet another beautiful thing that makes us unique?
In a digital age, is it still worth teaching children how to write by hand?
Handwriting is more relevant now than ever. When we are apart, we need to find
ways to stay connected by personalising our interactions. What better way than
In my work as a social entrepreneur, I use writing as a form of catharsis and growth.
I help people find who they really are through the medium of writing and storytelling.
When writing becomes a part of our daily routine, we get a deeper understanding of
self—our goals, motivations, and inhibitions. Writing is an excavation. We dig deep
through the layers and uncover ourselves in that dark place, and bring it into the
light. We may not always like what we see, but we can shape it into something
beautiful once we are aware of it.
We can rewrite our story, or make our current one better–we can even start afresh.
It all starts with a mark on a blank page...