Wednesday 20 March 2024

Written by hand

 I am a dinosaur. 

My manuscripts are written by hand for the first draft. 

I say written - after years of note taking professionally and as a student my writing now resembles a kind of short hand - or maybe hieroglyphics!  If I want anyone but me to read it I have to print. And yes, sometimes even I can't read what I have written. Apparently for writers the connection between hand and pen and the act if writing can benefit the flow of words. All I can say is, it works for me. 

Handwriting is very personal. Your signature is still your most significant distinguishing mark. Even so, my handwriting, in the days when it was more legible, resembles my mother's'- taught in the same school system, but is nothing like my father's, brought up in a different area. I have to say that coming unexpectedly across a sample of their handwriting is one of those moments that can make you catch your breath with memory.  

This post was inspired by a recent Point of View broadcast on Radio 4 by Tom Shakespeare when he was musing on the art of writing and why his own handwriting had got so bad. I can't remember what  his conclusion was, I think it was that he was not called to write very much these days. I know he mused on whether the skill of writing might be endangered. Would future generations need it? Texts, computers, audio communications - maybe not. The thought of not being able to write to express my self disturbs me a lot. 

But then I am a dinosaur. 

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