Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Art of Handwriting or how a teacher can change your mind

I think we can all agree that a handwritten note beats an e-mail by far… really far, right?

My love of handwriting goes as back as when I first learned to write. I was always aware of my parents beautiful handwriting or how my grandmother's became shakier and shakier as she aged, but beautiful nonetheless. Mine on the other hand became "me" and quite pretty as many remarked.

But then I became a teenager and a teacher told me how he was able to determine everyone's personality by how they wrote. Graphology of course is an art in itself, but not to take things further, I didn't like this one bit. I didn't like the fact that he was going to be able to see through me because of how I wrote.

I really don't know what I was thinking back then or what I needed to hide from him, but I changed my writing every time I handed a paper to him. I made a conscious effort to write in an "ugly" way, and became very interested in cursive (so I could make it even uglier). I guess it was a phase I had to go through, but today while I was doing an alphabet exercise I realized that I still haven't gotten over it... yet.

I became extremely conscious of how a simple thing could be dissected into so many other things. This was of course, many moons ago, but it did change the way I write. I now write according to my mood and I'm no longer interested in pretty writing, just writing that is more "me" whatever that means each day.

I'm still amazed about how quirky, clean or illegible some writings can be. I like that sometimes you can even catch a small glimpse of the writer's personality. I'm still obsessed with handwriting. I love the handwritings of my pen pals, and I miss (terribly) seeing an envelope addressed to me with the distinguishable writing of my grandmother (she was an avid letter writer).

I'm wondering if writing ever became an issue with you? Do you ever question why you write the way you do?

Lately I'm quite surrounded by it (hence this post). I have burrowed this wonderful book from my sister, and the paper love course I'm taking has made me think about many things in a good but soul searching way. Funny how that happens!

Photos above:
1. A handwritten note at this shop. 2. Matisse's handwriting,  I love how he simply drew a line over his mistake. 3. A letter from Mary Webb to the prime minister reprinted in this book. 4. Writing on a wall at Villa Augustus. 5. My alphabet practice and the map fold I learned from the e-course.

Wishing you a wonderful friday and weekend! See you back here on monday, if you want of course!


  1. Love this post. I was also obsessed with changing my handwriting as a kid, especially experimenting with my signature. It made it difficult for me to withdraw or deposit money (no ATMs yet) because I didn't go to the bank very often, but every time I did, I would have a different signature and the bank wouldn't accept it.
    In high school, I found my dad's old passport with his signature on it. I copied the way he wrote the "L" at the end of our last name and incorporated it into mine. After that I decided my signature was perfect and complete, and I haven't changed it since.

    1. Thanks Deepa for sharing this story!!
      I was laughing about your bank incident because it still happens to me, in Colombia where I have an account because of my store, every time I get calls because the signatures don't match. I wasn't able like you to make it look the same.

  2. Me too as a kid I was constantly trying out new ways to write. At school we learned a modern script "t", but I liked the classic one better, so once I got the chance (after primary school) I changed it and still use it now. I agree with your teacher that the way someones writes says so much about him/her. And it's sad that kids & teenagers don't experiment with handwriting as much anymore as we did. I know I write so very very little... I don't know if it exists in other countries too, but we used to have "poëzie albums", a little journal that you'd pass on to friends & family and they would write a little poem and add some stickers or sticky paper decorations. It's so nice to see my grandparents writing and see the differences in letters by educated and less educated people. For example my grandmother wrote something like "in tough times you'll courageous bite through a stone" in stead of the more common "sour apple". She was a tough lady ;) I'm very curious if your kids like writing too (well at least the oldest). Do you leave notes around the house?

    1. I love the idea of the poezie albums, I have never seen those, and so nice that can see your family's handwriting in one place.
      With my older one, because he has moved schools quite a lot he has had to change his handwriting to suit the school he is at, so strange but it is like that, for example while in Colombia he wasn't allowed to write how he had been writing in the US, he had to learn cursive.
      Then in Spain cursive was not needed, but he was writing too big for them. And now here he had to adapt yet again. Fortunately I think he has found his way out through all that change. He writes a lot of short stories and poems :)
      Thank you for sharing your handwriting story with me :)

  3. What a fantastic post!
    I really believe in Graphology. Many years ago I went to a Pen show. They had a Graphologist there and so I was intrigued. When she asked me to write some particular text I told her I have different hand writings. Write them all down, she said, so I did. That session was ultra amazing. She told me stuff I didn't really know about myself until she said them. It touched me so deeply (in a good way) that I was in floods of tears for hours. It was like someone had looked into my soul and told me: it's ok to be you! I'll never forget that day! x

    1. Thanks Tina, and thanks also for this amazing story.
      So wonderful that someone told you so many things that you didn't even know about yourself.
      I also believe in graphology, that is why I was so scared about that teacher. Now I wouldn't mind telling me a bit or two about my writing :)

  4. Ahhhhhh las palabras escritas. Mi "Z"... Tu "G"... La "I"... historias escritas y versos y amores y verdades y tantas mentiras... Ahhhh las palabras escritas!


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