Handwriting Therapy!

cy twombly

(cy twombly)

To know me is to know that I am rarely without a writing instrument and paper or a journal of some sort.  What began as a compulsive need to catalog my life and re imagine it in words as a child evolved into a life-long love affair with handwritten journals. I am also one loud-mouthed advocate of the brilliant book The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, the ultra-creativity book that names the handwriting of pages in a journal as a pre-requisite to a fulfilled creative life.  I covet pens. I love great paper. A blank sketch pad is one of the best gifts I could get. I am a rarity in this regard, but I stand in defense of handwriting, big-time! As it turns out, handwriting can truly stimulate your brain, express your personality in its form…and can be a tool for personal growth. 

Five years ago I led my first Artist’s Way creativity  group online.  It was an ambitious group of international artists all eager to get their mojo back.  One rogue group member started sharing with others an idea to “type” the morning journal pages prescribed by Julia Cameron to be written by hand.  Given I was a beginner at group leadership or guidance, my knee-jerk reaction was to send her an impassioned public message about how important handwriting was to creativity.  I should have just reminded her that she wasn’t quite doing the process if she wanted to do it her way, but let it be. Hindsight is  20-20.

Handwriting- particularly in cursive- opens your mind. You can read about how writing these morning pages has transformed my own life HERE. 

THIS article from Psychology Today explains the awesome effects of cursive writing on our brains.  It this article it is explained:

“There is spill-over benefit for thinking skills used in reading and writing. To write legible cursive, fine motor control is needed over the fingers. Students have to pay attention and think about what and how they are doing it. They have to practice. Brain imaging studies show that cursive activates areas of the brain that do not participate in keyboarding.”

Grapho-therapy is a fascinating area of study.  I once ghost-wrote a handwriting analysis book, and it taught me tons.  Handwriting analysts can deduce from handwriting various personality traits.  When you actively change various parts of your handwriting, you, in essence, support those changes in habit in your body & mind. Trippy stuff. This article can shed a bit of light on your handwriting as insight into your personality.

Now, what does this all mean?

It’s worth grabbing a pen or pencil you love to write with, and a paper journal or stacks of paper if you’d like and actually write!

Write nonsense, write critically, write dreamily, write with impassioned words…but write by hand.

It’s a brilliantly simple way to expand your mind and broaden your thought process!

xoxo Dana

 

 

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Q June 27, 2013 at 12:35 am

I’m in!

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Katie June 27, 2013 at 2:00 am

I have been wanting to change my handwriting. I always feel like if it was a bit prettier and more controlled than maybe I could come across more controlled rather than all over the place and then become it!!

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Moni June 29, 2013 at 9:30 pm

I’m in. I was just told by someone last weekend that cursive writing is no longer allowed in schools. I was APPALLED! It’s the prettiest way to write and you learn by looking at various handwritings exactly how different each cursive letter can be via the author. I’m in!

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danaclaudat July 1, 2013 at 4:33 am

I love it! I would have flunked out of school if it required typing in class 😉 lets all hand write! xoxo

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Tam June 30, 2013 at 9:12 pm

I would absolutely LOVE to do the Artist’s Way with others! This thought pops up anytime I flip through that book. It’d be great to share outcomes and just have that support. 🙂

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Constant Cat January 26, 2014 at 5:45 am

I’d do Artist’s Way online with you, the next time you lead a group!

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Danielle October 15, 2015 at 7:52 pm

Hello, I am currently on my 2nd week doing the artists way and I have to say, I started writing in print, but today I couldn’t write in print, I had to write in cursive, it was like I hAd no choice. I found this page, trying to find out if anyone has had results like this.

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danaclaudat November 10, 2015 at 7:14 am

oh thats cool!!! it really helps with flow to write in cursive!!!!

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