How many people write by hand these days? We can still read Leonardo da Vinci’s notebooks, yet we have entirely lost the electronic journals of computer scientists of the seventies. I believe that writing by hand leaves more of a trace not only in the real world but also in our minds.
Writing by hand is not only about fixing things. I have been writing morning pages by hand (on and off for the last seven years) and although I never intend to read them again, I find that the act of writing them have served an important purpose. Many of the thoughts, fears, and ideas that were going in circles in my head have been flushed from my system – leaving space for creativity. The hand and ink dance somehow cleanses my mind. In the past, I have tried to use a computer for the practice but found that it did not work as well.
On a more mundane note, I have noticed that a pen-on-paper list, works so much better for me than when I use an electronic device or only commit it to memory. The act of using the hand seems to anchor things more strongly. Now that I do not have a smartphone anymore, and decided to revert to a simple phone, I use my journal and pocket notebook more frequently. This practice slows me down a little but makes me more mindful.
In the context of my forty-two-day challenge to understand how to make a conscious change, today’s suggestion is to create a hand-written reminder. If you also want to make a change in your life, take a little piece of paper, write by hand a reminder of your intention and place it where you will see.
This blog is part of a renewed 42-day writing challenge inspired by Leo Babauta’s Zen Habits Book.