January 23, National Handwriting Day

By DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills

In the sixth grade, my teacher set aside part of my recess time to work on my handwriting. Do you have a clue to the difficulty others found and still find in deciphering my pitiful penmanship? This grade-A student always received a U for unsatisfactory until I finished grade school. By then, the teachers gave up.

I have friends whose handwriting resembles a work of art with beautifully flowing lines that make even the smallest word appear like it should be framed. Yes, jealousy for those people makes me a bit green.

The invention of keyboards took my messiness to a level of readability, but there are times when a handwritten note is necessary. Sigh. If you are like me, you might wonder if National Handwriting Day honors only those with perfect penmanship or for the rest of us to appreciate the art.

The History of National Handwriting Day states handwriting began with the people of Mesopotamia people in the year 3400 BC. That’s when civilization invented writing on clay tablets. Hundreds of years later in the 1770s, Europe established schools to enhance handwriting. In 1977, those concerned about the quality of students’ handwriting decided to do something about it and set apart January 23rd as a day to honor the skill.

How do we celebrate this day? Here are three ways you can honor those who found it necessary to remind us that handwriting is important for effective communication.

  1. Practice and practice some more. *This doesn’t mean we change the font on our devices so our penmanship is stellar. This means paper and pen/pencil. Consider the process a game, and we are competing against ourselves.
  2. Research the handwritten documents of our world and note the expertise in the writing.
  3. For fun, try writing with your less dominant hand. For all of us whose handwriting is atrocious, we will feel better ourselves.

This article offers more interesting information about National Handwriting Day. I encourage you to take a quick read. Researching this short article officially challenged me to better my penmanship. I hope it inspires you too.

What tips do you have to perfect your handwriting skills?