For how long will we need to write by hand? I ask this not uncommon question, because I've recently discussed it with my better half. Maybe it was the
chore delight of writing Christmas cards, but we both came to the same conclusion.
We don't write as fluently as we did.
Instead of our handwriting being entirely automatic, words flowing from the pen like a limpid stream of inky eloquence, we have both acquired a regular tendency to think for a second before putting pen to paper. Not a great long pause and a bit of head-scratching – just a slight hesitation twixt intent and act. Brief, but we both notice it.
So for us, writing by hand isn’t quite as easy as it was. The faintest hint of a lapse from total familiarity has crept into our writing physique. In these digital times, we both lack that regular practice which began almost sixty years ago and never faltered until quite recently.
I still make handwritten notes for blog posts and short story ideas. We both make handwritten shopping lists and diary notes, but that’s about it. We no longer do much writing.
My writing was always dreadful anyway, so it’s no great loss, but noticing our lack of practice was a surprise to both of us, even though the demise of writing has been predicted for years. I suppose we always took those prognostications with a pinch of salt.
Yet do we need to write beyond shopping lists? Won’t the government soon be doing that for us anyway? Will we stop teaching kids how to write, or at least, how to write well? Grandson is being taught to write at his primary school, but is he wasting his time?