In today’s modern world, with computers and phones and iPads, penmanship is a dying art. I’m no exception. When I do have to write something down on paper, it’s messy, slow, and makes my fingers cramp. So I’ve decided I’ll do something about it, and improve my handwriting. But first, I thought I’d ask why. So here are 10 Reasons you should improve your handwriting.
10. You still need to. Despite the promise of a paperless office, you can’t write everything on a computer. Post-it notes, diaries, exercise books, you do still need to write longhand sometimes. Having great handwriting comes in very handy for things like job applications, school assignments, love letters (ooh la la) and other, less interesting but still necessary, platonic letters.
9. The written word is more personal. The world is full of emails, text messages and facebook these days, and all it takes is for you to take your pen out and write something down to give your messages a personal touch.
8. To stand out from the crowd. Because of all the computers and mobile phones in the world, no-one else can write well any more. Having neat writing these days, rather than being the norm, can set you apart.
7. So you have an impressive signature. Everyone has a signature; what does yours look like? Like a chicken’s scratchings on a wooden floor? Or beautiful, flowing strokes that make the reader sigh with admiration and feel a little twinge of jealousy?
6. Because I can’t understand a word you write. Or so a colleague once told me. Many people have the same problem. Your handwriting’s too messy. You can type out a text message or email fine, but as soon as it comes to writing by hand, no-one can understand what you mean. Practise writing by hand, and get your point across without resorting to a computer (I love the irony of this: I realise I’m writing on a computer right now, but the point remains).
5. For your hand-eye coordination. Handwriting is an excellent way to practise the fine motor control and coordination of your fingers, hand and arm.
4. Writing trains your brain. Studies have shown that writing with a pen and paper is a more effective memory aid, and better for cognitive development, than typing on a computer. for all the convenience of using computers. Fewer and fewer schools are teaching or assessing penmanship, opting for a more tech-savvy focus, so learning to improve your handwriting is left more and more to the individual. And hence this website.
3. It delays the onset of dementia. Hand writing is good for memory and learning because it’s such a good cognitive exercise, and a side effect of exercising your brain like this is the delay it will cause in dementia as you age.
2. Better handwriting means faster writing. Students with better handwriting are able to compose essays faster than their computer-using peers when it comes to writing either on paper or on a screen.
1. It’s good for your grades. Thought school papers were graded solely on the merit of their content? Think again. Studies have shown that, despite the best intentions of the grader, a middle-of-the-road 50th percentile paper can be graded as high as the 84th percentile, or as low as the 16th percentile, depending on the penmanship it was written with. Want better grades? Improve your handwriting!