Faster, better, more efficient. Such is the cry of efficiency:
I can get a computer to do things for me and do them faster. Automate!
And if you value your time, which of course you do as it is quite the valuable resource, efficiency seems to be key in … what?
That odd ellipses I trail off in above is quite deliberate. It’s the same problem we have with the word “productivity”. What the heck is it?
I return to that idea of what this newsletter is about: finding where play meets work, where we find success as a momentary flow, rather than as a line to cross, where we feel engaged in ways that feel meaningful, focused or relaxed when we wish to be, and ultimately supported in our sense of agency.
What does this have to do with handwriting?
First, by writing, be that of your ideas or your tasks, you use time in a wonderful organic way. Not only is there a free beauty unique to ink meeting the page, perhaps heightened with a nice pen, but there is a gentle living path for an idea to develop. Tracing letters directly from mind through muscle and instrument engages a flowing feedback.
Even better, if you attempt to write nicely, to make your words appear as something you enjoy reading, you need to slow down. Like any path of mastery, one needs to both reduce scope and speed to the edge of ease, and then preferably gently, guide your growth from there.
Writing by hand invites you into that process.
I’m not saying everything, or even most things, should be handwritten. There is, indeed, a power to the tools afforded by the computer and typing at it.
But, if it’s been a while, try writing with slow deliberate strokes. See what comes up.