January 23 is National Handwriting Day

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Keep Handwriting from Becoming a Lost Art!

This lens celebrates the ability for a human being to hold a writing implement in one hand and create beautiful symbols called letters and words on a flat surface, usually paper.


The upcoming generation is no longer being taught cursive writing in public school. Text Messaging and Instant Messaging with "autofill" is on the verge of annihilating proper grammar, punctuation, spelling, and of course, penmanship. But for millennia, societies worldwide have prized penmanship as a status symbol. Calligraphers and Stenographers, Clerks and Congressmen prided themselves on "a fine hand." From China to England, from the Constitution to Invitations, good handwriting has represented culture, tact, care, patience, and beauty. Who doesn't love to receive a handwritten letter or a party invitation written in calligraphy?

January 23 is National Handwriting Day. So here's a lens to honor those who still wish to develop "a fine hand," no matter where in the world it's happening, or in what language, or with what object.

Recapture Your Own Handwriting With These Accessories!

Whether for business, calligraphy, or hand-written notes and letters, work done in script adds a touch of class and an homage to the past.

Sheaffer Calligraphy Maxi Kit, 3 Viewpoint Fountain Pens with 3 Nib Grades, Assortment of Ink Cartridges, Tracing Pad (73404)
Sheaffer Calligraphy Maxi Kit, 3 Viewpoint Fountain Pens with 3 Nib Grades, Assortment of Ink Cartridges, Tracing Pad (73404)

This was the Calligraphy kit I received as a gift in my childhood that helped to seal my affinity for handwriting.

Parker Urban Fountain Pen Medium Point Black with Gold Trim Kit with 4 Ink Cartridges (1760841)
Parker Urban Fountain Pen Medium Point Black with Gold Trim Kit with 4 Ink Cartridges (1760841)

This fountain pen set by Parker includes an ink refill and multiple nibs.

Classic Pen Set, Six Pens & Sixty Refills in Storage Case
Classic Pen Set, Six Pens & Sixty Refills in Storage Case

Wonderful item for the office of any businessperson, writer, post correspondent, or drawing/drafting space.


Jane Austen Manuscript

Jane Austen Handwriting
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Jane Austen Handwriting

Jane Austen (one of my favorite authors) claims she had mediocre penmanship.

The woman had to hand-write every single word of every single novel, play, poem and creative work she ever composed. In the course of her short life, she completed 38 works and started 2 others, including 6 full-length novels and a short novella.

And still, her handwriting was better than most of ours today!

The Need for Penmanship to Be Taught in Public Schools

I was appalled when I learned that our public school systems were removing script writing (also known as cursive or long hand) from the curriculum. It worries me so much that future generations will not have this skill. In the technology and information ages, I understand how easy it is to default to the argument, "With modern technology, we don't need to know how to write by hand anymore. Pretty soon, we won't even have to type anything. Eventually, we won't even have to say anything!" These statements may be true, but are they to our long-term advantage as a people? Here are some of my concerns, both in the present and the future.

1) Losing the skill of cursive writing is presently creating a communication gap between adults who write longhand and their grandchildren who can't read it. Getting letters, cards, or notes in the mail now need to be translated by a parent or teacher.

2) Cursive writing is a more controlled method of writing than quick or short hand; to learn it requires the development of fine motor skills that are missing in other writing or typing methods. These skills include eye-hand coordination, muscle memory, grip, and control.

3) A few generations from now, without the ability to write in cursive, our future historians, archaeologists, anthropologists and other social scientists will have increasing trouble in deciphering our past and present records, legal documents, personal letters, manuscripts, and other hand-written documents. There will be an increase in inaccuracies and disagreements about interpretation. It is the same phenomenon already experienced by biblical archaeologists and Bible interpreters who pore over ancient manuscripts of dead languages. Not having good reference material makes translation and interpretation work very challenging.

4) Cursive has historically been associated with elegance. There is nothing elegant about texting, 140 character Tweets, or emoticons.

5) Long hand is the language of signatures. Our future progeny will have a diminished capacity for creating unique personal signatures, which is one of the first things students of cursive get excited about developing. How many of us worked for a long time to develop a grown-up looking cursive "proper" signature to use when signing our homework, notes, folders, textbooks, or legal documents? It was fun!

So What's Your Response? - (Based on the list above)

What Is the Worst Thing About Losing Cursive?

  • The generation gap the loss is causing
  • The loss of related fine motor skills
  • The trouble future historians and scholars will have deciphering script
  • General loss of elegance and refinement
  • The death of creative, unique hand-writting signatures
  • All of these, the whole thing is troublesome
  • None of these, you're making too big a deal of this
See results without voting

My (Horrible) Handwriting

My Personal Handwriting Samples
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My Personal Handwriting Samples

Here are samples of my handwriting using my favorite GIANT pen, both cursive and print. It's okay...you can laugh.

Handwriting of the Constitution

Constitution of United States of America
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Constitution of United States of America

Our constitution was drafted in gorgeous script.

YouTube Writing Tutorials

YouTube videos about Calligraphy and Penmanship.

How-To Links Online

Online resources for developing good handwriting skills. Essential tools for homeschooling parents, tutors, classroom teachers, and professionals assisting students with learning disabilities.

Handwriting Books and Tools - on AMAZON.COM

Resources to help learn and practice good handwriting.

Chinese Calligrapher Prodigy

Ye Genyou, Calligraphy Prodigy
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Ye Genyou, Calligraphy Prodigy

Calligraphy is from the Greek words kallos (beauty) and graphe (writing). Chinese calligraphy is a style of beauty writing composed of energy in motion, rhythm, visual aesthetic, contrast, patience, accuracy, artistry and fluidity. It is difficult to master in all its many forms and nuances, and is widely considered as much a spiritual practice as it is an artistic one.

Ye Genyou demonstrating amazing calligraphy skills in this photograph. Copy and paste this URL into your browser to read about this prodigy. http://www.chinese-tools.com/china/crazy/2008-09-2...

So do you have a favorite pen or stylus? Do you still write in long hand? I do! I find that I actually write faster when I write in cursive than any other way.

Please leave a note and let me know you were here.

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Sign Here. - (This is my guestbook! Leave a signature) 70 comments

Virginia Allain profile image

Virginia Allain 3 years ago from Central Florida Level 2 Commenter

I like a pen with a fat, soft grip (more comfortable when you have arthritis).

Glad to see you promoting handwriting. People are getting more sloppy with it, so let's start a movement to bring back beautiful writing.

jlshernandez profile image

jlshernandez 3 years ago

I write in cursive and still love to use fountain pens.

favored profile image

favored 3 years ago from USA Level 3 Commenter

As a writer I do have favorite gel pens I like to use. I hope we don't lose the art of cursive writing. Teaching it to my younger students was a challenge, but I did enjoy it. There's a friend of mine in her 80's who was a teacher, and she still has beautiful handwriting.

snazzify lm profile image

snazzify lm 3 years ago

blessed by a squid angel :) <3

JoshK47 3 years ago

What an awesome holiday! Thanks for sharing! Blessed by a SquidAngel!

captainj88 profile image

captainj88 3 years ago from East Berlin, PA, USA Hub Author

@snazzify lm: Thanks so much for the lovely blessing :)

captainj88 profile image

captainj88 3 years ago from East Berlin, PA, USA Hub Author

@JoshK47: Thanks, angel, for the friendly blessings.

LouisaDembul profile image

LouisaDembul 3 years ago

Your handwriting wasn't that bad! I think this is an important skill that is almost getting extinct.

privresearch profile image

privresearch 3 years ago

since I'm constantly on my computer, my handwriting has become almost unreadable ... unfortunately ...

Gypzeerose profile image

Gypzeerose 3 years ago

Good luck! I think handwriting is dying as an art. But it is important, we are just so tied to our computers.

indigoj profile image

indigoj 3 years ago from UK

Old handwriting is like an art form today. Not many of us write so beautifully now that we are used to typing everything and no longer use traditional ink pens even when we do write.

captainj88 profile image

captainj88 3 years ago from East Berlin, PA, USA Hub Author

@LouisaDembul: I could definitely improve, but I do hope to be part of a movement that keeps the art alive.

Elaine Chen profile image

Elaine Chen 3 years ago

I like the "Chinese Calligrapher Prodigy" presented here. Someone said you could improve patient by learning Calligrapher.

artbyrodriguez profile image

artbyrodriguez 3 years ago from Albany New York

I just gave my eight year old graddaughter a calligraphy set, and she loves it!

dessertlover 3 years ago

Nicely written! I agree, this is about to be a lost art. I rarely write things in handwriting anymore. My mother always gives me a hard time that my handwriting isn't very neat or like they'd taught us in school, but it just isn't a priority anymore!

myamya 3 years ago

Great lens, well done!

SheGetsCreative profile image

SheGetsCreative 3 years ago from Seattle, WA

Rollerball pens are what suit my "flair" the best. Great lens - I for one hope we never stop teaching the art of handwriting, no matter how techno savvy we become.

captainj88 profile image

captainj88 3 years ago from East Berlin, PA, USA Hub Author

@SheGetsCreative: Absolutely. Teaching is key. In our public schools in southwest Florida we no longer instruct students in cursive writing. Spelling has already gone by the wayside...I hope we can recover excellence in both!

Ardyn25 profile image

Ardyn25 3 years ago

We were just talking the other day about the fact that handwriting is becoming almost a lost art. By the time my son hit grade 7, reports all had to be done on a computer typed, hand written were marked lower. I also don't think as much time is spent in the elementary school level on learning handwriting as it once was. Great post...makes me want to write a letter to friends once in awhile instead of emailing.

vinodkpillai lm profile image

vinodkpillai lm 3 years ago

Having been encouraged and coached by parents and teachers to work on my handwriting and having benefited from it, I share your agony when thinking of the current sharp decline in it's importance. Great lens!! Thanks

paperfacets profile image

paperfacets 3 years ago from La Verne, CA Level 1 Commenter

I think handwriting should be championed even if it does not look so good. I think the best hand is the writing that looks like it is loose, free and not tight. I always admired calligraphy and have practiced it a little.

adragast24 profile image

adragast24 3 years ago

In France, at least in the past, we used to write with ink pens. I think it is a really good compromise between ease of use and result. Now, I don't even handwrite anymore: just PC, tablets, mobile... that's a shame.

And no, I did not laugh at your handwriting, did not see any reason to do so. I will nominate this lens for lotd, just think it is beautiful (even though I don't think it will be lens of the day before next year Jan 23).

My strongest wish was to publish my book handwritten. I believe it would have given a such stronger link between me and my readers... But well, I did not even finish my books and I don't think any publisher would have accepted to publish it, handwritten or not anyway... :p

pawpaw911 3 years ago

Not teaching cursive is a crime.

Valerie Bloom profile image

Valerie Bloom 3 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

Although I prefer typing when I have a lot to say, I do mourn the loss of the art of handwriting. It's amazing that you can know someone very well these days but not be familiar with their handwriting!

JuneNash profile image

JuneNash 3 years ago

I love putting pen to paper. I favor the Energel by Pentel because it writes so smooth.

Simbaa 3 years ago

This is a great lense, well done! keep it up, i really enjoyed reading

bilafond lm profile image

bilafond lm 2 years ago

I liked the Jane Austen Manuscript. A good lens.

AcornOakForest profile image

AcornOakForest 2 years ago from Western Wisconsin

When i was senior in high school, my dad insisted that I get my handwriting analyzed, saying that some employers do that to learn about candidates for jobs. I can't remember the things it said about me, but I remember being amazed that it was spot on. Good lens! I still love writing with a pen or pencil at times.

aesta1 profile image

aesta1 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada Level 5 Commenter

I used to do calligraphy. I think I gave my set last year.

anonymous 2 years ago

Nice lens :)

Wedding Mom profile image

Wedding Mom 2 years ago

Didn't know there was a National Handwriting Day. Very interesting lens!

verymary profile image

verymary 2 years ago from Chicago area

My father in law has lamented many times the scaling back of cursive instruction, and I do see his point (and yours !)

Lynn Klobuchar profile image

Lynn Klobuchar 22 months ago from Minneapolis, Minnesota

I am saddened by this trend. I do make my kids text me in complete sentences, including punctuation.

Lifestyle360 22 months ago

Such a very good lens.

Johanna Eisler profile image

Johanna Eisler 22 months ago

I have favorite pens that somehow get "stolen" away. *sigh* I still love cursive. How sad that it's a dying art. I homeschooled my daughter, and I'm happy to say that she still uses her beautiful cursive, even though she is a skilled typist and uses the computer many hours a day. The best of both worlds!

susan369 22 months ago

Interesting lens - very thought-provoking! I don't think it matters whether your handwriting is cursive or not - the main thing is that it is legible. My son had very neat handwriting until the school introduced cursive. Now I have trouble reading his writing! I use a combination of both cursive and block letters myself. Calligraphy will always be around as an art form and as a hobby, so cursive writing will never disappear completely, but I think it would be impractical to expect people to use Jane-Austen-style cursive writing during their everyday activities in this day and age. Incidentally, I've been planning to publish a lens about how to turn your handwriting into a computer font - I'll try to do it today to coincide with the National Handwriting Day - who would have thought such thing existed?

captainj88 profile image

captainj88 22 months ago from East Berlin, PA, USA Hub Author

@susan369: I like your computer font idea. Can't wait to see what you share!

norma-holt profile image

norma-holt 22 months ago

I only use cursive style letters on envelopes. Usually its just straight writing and I think kids are now being trained with computer language and hand writing is second nature to most now. I prefer to write my books by hand but they are unacceptable to publishing houses and Word is so convenient for correcting text. Great lens and good subject. Well deserving of a PS.

robinmethew lm profile image

robinmethew lm 22 months ago

This is very great and useful lens. I received from here many information. I appreciate your hard working.

AlyCat150 22 months ago

Thanks for such a resource-filled lens. It's re-sparked my interest in calligraphy.

I write long hand everyday-- not only is it easier and faster for me, but I feel more creative, and when taking notes I remember them better. I'm so glad to hear about other people who care about this. Especially when taking notes, I can't understand why so many people try to type them instead of writing them.

evawrites1 profile image

evawrites1 22 months ago

I am an amateur calligrapher and I love handwritten things, thanks for all this info.

PaynesGrey profile image

PaynesGrey 22 months ago

Congratulations on LOTD. No matter how I try I cannot write neatly, it's been the bane of my life!

anonymous 22 months ago

thank you!! it is good to know someone has the same worry as I do.

I think writing has a personal touch to things, cursive or no...

PaigSr profile image

PaigSr 22 months ago from State of Confussion Level 2 Commenter

I admit my hand writing is not the best in the world. But it is mine. Sort of a signature way to recognize me.

esmonaco profile image

esmonaco 22 months ago from Lakewood New York

My hand writing is terrible, but I would be lost without using it, as I always take notes in meetings. They haven't removed it from our school curriculm, and I agree everybody should lean to write. Our grandson is just starting to learn cursive writing in school. Thanks for all the information and Congratulations on LOTD!!

tonyleather 22 months ago

Excellent lens and sentiments I completely agree with! Reading and writing are apparently nowhere near as important in education today as they were 50 years ago. I believe that this is tragic and urgently needs to be rectified!

sousababy profile image

sousababy 22 months ago

Um, my handwriting sucks now (used to be okay).

Wednesday-Elf profile image

Wednesday-Elf 22 months ago from Savannah, Georgia Level 2 Commenter

Technology has come a long way, but it is beginning to threaten our way of life in some areas. The idea that we now need a "How-To" book to learn to write 'cursive' is unbelievable.... and sad. I remember finding it difficult to learn to write correctly because I'm left-handed. But I can't imagine a time when no one knows how to .... or even wants to... write - whether it's good penmanship or not. Congrats on LOTD. It's time we celebrated National Handwriting Day every day!

Merrci profile image

Merrci 22 months ago from Oregon's Southern Coast

Yes I have a favorite pen, but sure don't use it as often as I used to. It is shocking to me that they would stop teaching cursive in school! Our children still need to learn the basics before they rely on electronics! Great lens and Congratulations on LotD! Well deserved.

GrammieOlivia 22 months ago

Well, I love things written in a beautiful hand, but alas, such is not my gift either. My hand writing is okay, but not something anyone would call beautiful.....

delia-delia profile image

delia-delia 22 months ago Level 2 Commenter

Congratulations on LOTD! .Leah your writing looks just like mine! Well now I've heard everything...NHD! Some old time cursive is nice and readable, I wish those from days-by-gone would have thought of writing so it's readable, I mean after all, we who do genealogy research need a lot of help with deciphering...very frustrating.. ;-)

Diana Wenzel profile image

Diana Wenzel 22 months ago from Colorado

I love the handwritten word. My mother has beautiful penmanship, but alas, I did not inherit those genes. I hate to think of the day when a personal script no longer exists. Congrats on Lens of the Day!

Dressage Husband profile image

Dressage Husband 22 months ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada Level 4 Commenter

The only school prize I ever won was for handwriting, but you would never guess if you saw it now! So I totally agree with everything you said here. Well done on the LOTD!

anonymous 22 months ago

I might have the worst handwriting skills on the planet but this is still a very groovy lens. Congratulations on getting LotD!

noner profile image

noner 22 months ago

I love to give and receive handwritten notes and letters.


They taught cursive when I was in school and I hated every second of it. My cursive writing was horrible and illegible, and I had such difficulty with it that it took me twice as long to write a sentence in cursive than it did for me to print it (even though my teacher kept preaching that cursive was faster and easier.) I only ever used it in class when they forced us to.

I'm 32 now and I only write in print. Even my signature was print until my job told me, "Its not a 'real' signature unless its in cursive." So now instead of putting my "real" signature on anything I have to fake a cursive one.

Faye Rutledge profile image

Faye Rutledge 22 months ago from Concord VA

I still appreciate a handwritten letter...much more personal. Congratulations on a fantastic LotD!

Zeross4 profile image

Zeross4 22 months ago from Kentucky

I love to write things in hand, and I'm sad that they are doing away with cursive. I hope parents will teach this to their children themselves!

lewisgirl profile image

lewisgirl 22 months ago

Nice lens-Congrats!

StrongMay 22 months ago

Motor skills is a big one!

I'm a student at university today, and I see there are so many people who take notes by typing on the computer. Only about half of us (sometimes less) still write in notebooks (myself included). Pretty much everybody who writes (rather than types) is more cautious about giving out our notes - generally we refer to someone with a computer - because we have to write fast during class and our handwriting isn't usually the neatest.

SteveKaye 22 months ago

Writing is a rich organic process through which we access our inner thoughts. It is a vital part of thinking. It is an expression of being human.Thank you for publishing this lens on such an important topic.

Susan Zutautas profile image

Susan Zutautas 22 months ago from Ontario, Canada

I too was appalled when I heard that handwriting was no long going to be taught in schools. What are people that do not know how to write do if someday all the computer and cell phones disappear. It's bad enough that kids today can't spell worth a dam, but soon they won't be able to write either.

Congrats on your LOTD!

favored profile image

favored 22 months ago from USA Level 3 Commenter

Had to come back and congratulate you on LotD. Well done Leah!

TheRopesToKnow2 profile image

TheRopesToKnow2 22 months ago

Great Lens and a much needed lens! Glad you brought attention to this subject!

trevorjb1406 profile image

trevorjb1406 22 months ago

I love fountain pens and hand writing but as time goes by the opportunity to write by hand seems to get less. I think that schools should not allow the use of technical aides but should concentrate on teaching their pupils proper hand writing and punctuation etc. This is an excellent lens, I really like it!

Gypzeerose profile image

Gypzeerose 22 months ago

So nice to see this great lens make LOTD. I am an aficionado of handwriting and like handwriting analysis.

Yosemite LM profile image

Yosemite LM 22 months ago

I tend to be a prolific note-taker in my work. I find that I switch from cursive to printing, sometimes in the middle of a word!

I am a hobbyist calligrapher and bemoan the fact that cursive writing is not being taught in schools now. It is a shame, travesty and a theft from our younger generation who will never know the feeling of satisfaction in writing down their thoughts.

This is an excellent article.

JoanieMRuppel54 profile image

JoanieMRuppel54 22 months ago from Keller, Texas

Yes, I still write in cursive and they still teach it at our parochial school! My 4th grade daughter is required to write in cursive and I couldn't be happier about this skill being taught and maintained. I believe we have to combine the old and the new in this age of technology for a balanced education.

Nancy Hardin profile image

Nancy Hardin 22 months ago from Las Vegas, NV Level 1 Commenter

Yes, actually several of them. However, I no longer use them as much because of hand tremors that prevent my writing from being legible. I hate that, because when I write now to relatives, grandkids and great-grandkids, I use few words because my hand doesn't cooperate.

Aibrean82 profile image

Aibrean82 21 months ago

My fiance is the CEO at a major company and he has a favourite Mont Blanc fountain pen. His writing has always been terrible, but he still insists on using this pen to write personal thank you notes to a whole bunch of people at work rather than a group-email. I love it! He has given me a beautiful Faber-Castell pen which I just adore, and I use it when I write my first drafts of all my lenses.

Really great lens! Thanks for sharing it :)

Arachnea profile image

Arachnea 20 months ago from Texas USA

Great lens. Thanks for writing it. I learned cursive style writing in school and have always enjoyed writing by hand. I still write letters to friends and family by hand. You're right, the loss will be more wide reaching than just the loss of the skill by students.

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