Writing by hand

I wrote this entry by hand and edited it as I typed.

I don’t know the science behind it, but apparently handwriting energizes neural pathways in the brain that typing does not. So I am stuck, stymied on my current opus. Why not try handwriting?

Handwriting is so enjoyable. There is an esoteric pleasure in putting pen to paper — esoteric because my handwriting is mine and mine alone. Others may not be able to read it, but it will always be legible to me. Others can not duplicate it; it is uniquely and undeniably mine. It is my stamp. It is my signet. I can write a will in my hand and it will be valid without the witness of an attorney or notary. If the will is typed, even if signed by me, it must be witnessed and notarized. One’s mark is not enough.

See with what large letters I am writing to you with my own hand! Hand writing authenticates. What I lost as I became busier is the agonizing throttle of hand writing. I used to write all my story outlines by hand. I could go back and insert notes. I could strike and change. I could move thoughts with arrows and proof marks (the original “track changes”!). The reason I stopped hand writing is speed. I am too impatient to use a medium where thoughts must back up and wait for the written word to catch up. However, perhaps there is a boon in that. Yesterday, during my writing time, my brain was emptyI stared at that cursor, not knowing where to go next. When I pick up my pen, I can anticipate. I can write ahead in my brain while my hand crafts thoughts as words on paper. It’s a two-pronged creative act — word and deed.

To slow down, to brake, is a great benefit in communication. One avoids hasty utterances that foster regret. Measure twice, cut once. In creative writing, perhaps it also lets the Spirit speak to us. Writing fast, feeling that bumper grazing your heel, is exciting and rash. It is writing from me. Writing when throttled by pen in hand allows me to be moved by thought and subconscious.

Genesis tells of how God created the universe by speaking. We are not God, so much as we want it, uttering fiat lux! will not make it so. The God of Abraham and Moses, so the Torah relates, also left his Word for us in written form, and it is this writing that informs the world’s oldest monotheistic religions. Do you recall the Finger of God writing the Decalogue in The Ten Commandments? Handwriting is a rite, a creative act of God, used in the very act of creating a culture, a nation, a religion. So give me that old time religion. It’s good enough for Moses. It’s good enough for me.