The Art of Longhand (Writing with a Pen!)

Paul Theroux, novelist and essayist, states: “the speed at which I write with a pen seems to be the speed at which my imagination finds the best forms of words.”

He wrote his first book, “Waldo” in 1965 in longhand and 47 years later, is still writing with a pen. I agree with him that there is diminishing dexterity handling a pen or pencil. My writing has degenerated into scribbles that even sometimes I can’t figure out what I’ve written! If I want to be sure my note is legible, I will write block letters, something you would see a child write. It takes so long to write a few words that I end up frustrated.

If we think about it, the pen is a powerful tool of communication. It can convey our thoughts that give permanence to our feelings. On a computer, we can easily hit “delete” and the words are vanished. We can hastily type away with oceans of words. Doesn’t it seem that when writing on paper there is more passion and significance? Case in point, thank you notes. I love reading one’s longhand on beautiful stationery with their thoughts flowing word by word. The cards are saved and treasured.

An article in Newsweek stated that “brain scans show that handwriting engages more sections of the brain than typing” and “it’s easier to remember something once you’ve written it down on paper.”

There is something fulfilling when writing with a pen. Our selection of writing instruments reflects our style and taste, although today, we tend to overlook the gift of a pen because it seems so ordinary and mundane. Think about the next opportunity to write in longhand, selecting your most favorite pen to convey your treasured thoughts and enjoy the process.