Initiative Schreiben e.V., a German writing initiative, promotes Handwriting Day in Germany. In the USA, the National Handwriting Day has been celebrated since 1977. In recent years, Handwriting Day has received increased attention because putting pen to paper is a cultural technique for which there is less and less need. Yet society would lose something fundamental without the ability to write by hand.
That is why Initiative Schreiben holds a writing competition every year. In 2022, the topic is “relationships” as writing always creates a relationship with either yourself or with others. Initiative Schreiben invites all people, stationery shops, educational institutions and schools to get involved with handwriting, to try it out again and to find pleasure in it. Small texts, stories, letters to or for someone with whom there was, is, should have been or could be a relationship can be sent in. The deadline for entries is 23 January 2022, National Handwriting Day (as confirmed by the postmark). The initiative will put together a booklet using the most beautiful entries. In addition, the authors will receive prizes provided by the members of the initiative.
At primary school age, children often learn how to write in block letters first. Later, they learn joined-up handwriting. After that, they are free to develop their own handwriting style. From childhood to adulthood, their handwriting usually undergoes frequent and considerable changes. After that, their handwriting remains the same, except for minor changes. It is remarkable that your own handwriting is unmistakable and so a unique expression of your own personality. It’s easier to convey your own feelings when putting pen to paper. Those who write are able to express themselves more creatively and vividly. Everyone who takes up a pen strengthens their own imagination when writing by hand and pays more attention to the contents of the text.
30 muscles, 17 joints and 12 brain areas are used when writing by hand. What is written is more strongly networked and anchored in the brain because the entire brain is activated. When we write by hand, we leave traces in the brain that are re-activated as soon as we encounter the words again. As a result, we improve our memory performance and remember things much better. Thus, writing has a positive influence on our fine motor and cognitive skills. When typing on the keyboard or on a smartphone, such processes do not occur because typing has no link to the shape of the letters and the way they are written. That’s why it is vital that children learn to write by hand.
Handwriting is much more than “just” an old cultural asset. It is an expression of your personality, enhances your own memory capacity and is essential – in contrast to typed writing – for learning how to write. Even in this digital age, writing by hand must continue to play a role.
How can retailers involve their customers in Handwriting Day?