Sometimes I have to write by hand. When I type, the backspace button is too tempting to press and hold until the offensive typing is obliterated. The problem arises when I realize that what I just deleted is better than anything else in my head.
Handwriting is a bit of a lost art these days. By that I mean handwriting itself, like cursive. My handwriting is terrible. It’s an abominable mix of printing and cursive. My mother has great writing, but she taught 2nd grades for a long time, so she has to. She is heartily ashamed of my writing, I’m afraid.
But handwriting as in writing by hand is also something of a lost art. We have computers that provide us with ease of access for all our writing needs. Autocorrect. Built in dictionary and thesaurus. Font styles and sizes. Backspace buttons.
In our chaplaincy department, we send condolence and anniversary cards to the families of all of our patients who die. They have messages already printed in them, but we all write short, personal messages as well. I like to think it makes the card a little more personal. It many just make the card a little more messy.
It’s nice to have sometimes, though, that handwritten message. I sometimes give little notes to coworkers in the night. I have this little book of inspirational messages, and every now and then I’ll bring in a few to give people. I’ll write a line or two on the back of the note, sometimes about why I chose that note for that person.
You have to be careful with handwritten notes, though. You have to write carefully, both penmanship and what you say. A handwritten note, especially in pen, is a commitment. There’s no backspace button when you write by hand.