23 January, 2019 marks the 42nd anniversary of National Handwriting Day. Established in 1977 by The Writing Instrument Manufacturers Association (WIMA) on the birthday of one of America’s most celebrated scribes, John Hancock, National Handwriting Day was created to acknowledge the history and influence of penmanship.
WIMA refers to the day as a ‘writing holiday’, which encapsulates perfectly the pleasure and relaxation of taking time to write something by hand. The writing fans at WIMA suggest we mark the day by doing one - or all - of the following:
1. Write a letter.
The age-old tradition of receiving a handwritten letter is sadly few and far between, we’re all too familiar with eCards and emails. To celebrate, we suggest you find a pen or pencil and a piece of paper and choose someone to write a letter to. It doesn’t have to be purposeful and can be silly, it’s the thought that counts!
2. Practice your "John Hancock."
There’s nothing more official than signing your name on the dotted line. Many US children don’t know how to write their signature because of the absence of handwriting in their school curriculum. Take the time to brush up on yours and inspire a child to develop their own signature.
A huge part of handwriting are the utensils you use. Sometimes it’s OK to give kids a break from shaping letters and words and let them express their creativity through drawing. Sketch a picture!
4. Start a journal.
It could be about your goals, dreams and hopes, or even a small recap of your day detailing something important that happened. Starting a journal is a great way to practice your handwriting and to document the things that matter to you.
5. Craft a story.
A large part of writing is storytelling. Whether you choose to make it a hobby or it is your profession, writing stories is an artistic expression. By putting a pen to paper, you create a deeper connection to your thoughts and it serves as a way to watch your thoughts come to life. Use your imagination!
"There’s no better way to recognize National Handwriting Day than by putting your pens and pencils to work," says David H. Baker, Executive Director of WIMA.
"As technology continues to advance, it’s important to keep the vanishing art of handwriting at the forefront of minds and to inspire individuals to help reignite the interest and passion,” he concludes.
January 23 is also the date The American Handwriting Analysis Foundation launches its annual Campaign for Cursive® competition in the USA and Canada. The campaign offers three contests for schoolchildren: one in the USA and two in Canada (one for English writers, one for French).
"We’re anticipating more entries this year and have 18 handwriting specialists lined up to judge from coast to coast," stated Gayna Scott, Chair of the Campaign for Cursive® committee. "The quality of the writing continues to improve which is very positive. We love the enthusiasm from teachers and parents encouraging participation.”