You may not be aware, but the National Handwriting Day was celebrated last January 23 AND you can still join post celebration. After all, it aims to revive the love of pen and make you start writing again not just during the day but, hopefully, each day.
The practice of writing with pens and pencils is getting hazy nowadays. Word processors are the culprit. Convenient and now super smart, people are more inclined to writing with computer and gadgets than pen and paper.
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And indeed, all the emailing, texting, and chatting apps are making us forget about handwriting when it is almost as unique to a person as his fingerprint!
If you hardly get off your computer and gadgets because of work or business, the National Handwriting Day is set to be that one day where you take a quick break from your smartphone, tab, and/or computer. It doesn’t have to be long, 15 or 30 minutes will do. Relive the traditional way of expressing our hearts and minds - the pen and paper way.
A Little History of National Handwriting Day
The ancient Romans started it all. They were the first ones to use handwritten scripts for transactions until penmanship became a specialized discipline.
Variable text styles from different regions then emerged. Later, elegant handwriting became a symbol of status. And in the 1700s, penmanship schools were opened where educators honed generations of master scribers.
In the 1900s, typewriters were invented. The number of penmanship classes in the 1980s gradually decreased. And without anyone noticing, writing classes were replaced with typing and computing lessons.
Handwriting has then almost become just a part of history but the Writing Instrument Manufacturers Association (WIMA) invented a special event to help people rekindle their love for handwriting.
According to the organization,
"The purpose of National Handwriting Day is to alert the public to the importance of handwriting. National Handwriting Day is a chance for all of us to re-explore the purity and power of handwriting."
The group started to celebrate the holiday on January 23, 1977, which also falls on John Hancock’s birthday. He is likely the most iconic scribe in US history, thanks to his famous signature on the Declaration of Independence.
Today, people are starting to find the value in handwriting again. Artists are shifting to calligraphy and pen collectors are greatly growing in population. The National Handwriting Day has certainly become yet another lively event that people are looking forward to each year.
Wondering how people from different parts of the world made it more interesting this year?
Here are 6 Ways People Celebrated the National Handwriting Day 2019
1. Wrote Letters
It doesn’t matter who they wrote it for – a friend, neighbor, classmate, relative, boss, lover, parents, or even their enemy – handwritten letters and cards were all over post offices. It was nostalgic!
Some even stepped it up by using postcards and custom stationeries, while others composed poems and songs that retell some of their fondest memories.
For many, it was a great time to dust their fountain pens, bring out their stamp collections and practice their penmanship. And for recipients, it was probably a happy day when they felt the sincerity that came with the letters.
“Though computers and e-mail play an important role in our lives, nothing will ever replace the sincerity and individualism expressed through the handwritten word.”
DAVID H. BAKER, WIMA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
2. Creative Doodles
Although they don’t really fall under penmanship, doodling is another way of expressing creative freedom and exercising writing skills.
Artist or not, thousands of people shared simple and elaborate doodles on Pinterest. And it’s pretty amazing to see how imaginative people can become.
3. Penmanship Classes Were Relived
Not everyone has the privilege of having a teacher or parent to teach them how to write. Teachers, handwriting experts, and calligraphers held free classes to teach kids and some adults too how to write.
Participants were taught how to write different font styles and classic calligraphy. They also got basic lessons on drawing 3D and Bubble letters.
4. Practiced Writing Signatures
Since National Handwriting Day fall on Hancock’s birthday, people didn’t miss the chance to show off their cool signatures too. Initials and full names penned with their fave fountain pens, photos were shared online to show that Hancock isn’t the only one with a cool signature.
5. Contests and Giveaways
The National Handwriting Day won’t be as exciting without the contests and giveaways!
Hundreds of promos were initiated by writing instrument brands on different social media platforms. Of course, Dryden Designs was one of those who sponsored a massive giveaway.
Dryden Designs National Handwriting Day Giveaway - https://www.instagram.com/p/Bst-iLiDgZp/
With a luxury fountain pen, leather journal and cartridges of inks as rewards, thousands of pen enthusiasts and handwriting advocates participated in the contest.
6. Vision Boards and Dream Journals
And one final way we saw people doing during the National Handwriting Day was filling up their vision boards and dream journals.
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The occasion corresponds with the beginning of a new year where making resolutions and realizing bigger dreams is a fad. People shared on Instagram under the hashtag #nationalhandwritingday their artistic vision boards and dream journals where they list things that resonate with them, write words of motivation, draw a timeline of achieving new goals, and scribble a table of bucket lists.
Handwriting is more than just a tedious task we learn in school. It is a window into our unique personality, an instrument of creativity, and a brain exercise! If you weren’t able to participate in the National Handwriting Day this year, celebrate it next year with some fun, stress-free writing time, art, or journaling.