From Huff Post, 6 unexpected ways writing can transform your health:
- Writing by hand can help you learn better.
- Expressing emotions through words may speed healing.
- It could help change the way cancer patients think about their disease.
- Consider it a fundamental part of your gratitude practice.
- And writing down what you're thankful for could help you sleep better, too.
- It makes your mind -- and body -- better.
While I could take a few pointers from this myself (having gratitude is the only thing that keeps me sane sometimes, but keeping a gratitude journal has, in the past, helped me focus even more on what I should prioritize vs. bad habits and attitudes I should ditch) I almost never write by hand anymore. The other day I wrote a recipe down (which I really should post soon) as me and my fiance figured out what he'd put into it and how he'd cooked it, then I stuck it in the catch-all on our fridge. Every now and then I grab it and just stare at it in wonder, without even reading it, simply because I wrote it. With a pen.
I think I've compartmentalized the act of writing, in light of computers and smartphones, like this: writing by hand is out because there's no time or need for it anymore. I have a list app for lists, the PC for journaling, and the smartphone for any written messages (texts) to others. The only time I write is to quickly jot down someone's phone number - if I'm already on the phone - or to write down a Firefox sync code or something else throwaway like that. Little forgettable scratches on bits of paper or across the backs of bills that I toss out or forget no more than a day later.
This recipe was different. We were sitting around after eating an exquisite egg dish when we decided we should write down what went into it for posterity. I remember the luxury of having enough time to grab a scrap of paper and putting my pen to it as he reeled off the name of one ingredient after another. Soon I ran out of room and had to turn the paper over. The ink was blue. My handwriting, from lack of practice, scrawled and jumped about. But to this day every time I look at it, I feel inexplicable joy.
There is no recipe-writing app that can recreate how the writing made me feel. Writing poems by hand (in colors like dark blue and fuchsia - this is going waaaay back in the day) would often give me a giddy rush, too. Even if the poetry wasn't all that good, the act of writing it, and being able to see it in writing from that day forward, made it feel more special.
Do any of you experience this when you write by hand?