Day 274: In Praise of Pen and Paper(From Someone Who Can’t Use Them)

Cassowarys Victorian Modern Cursive
Cassowarys Victorian Modern Cursive (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
My handwriting sucks. Let me rephrase: my printing sucks. What most people consider handwriting, that is to say cursive handwriting, is beyond my physical capabilities . I can list on one hand the number of people who can read my print and depending on the day and how tight my hands are that list may or may not  include my parents.In twenty eight years of living as a disabled person I’ve come a long way on the road to self acceptance but my lack of consistently legible penmanship is still a frustration.  My family (the women particularly) collect stories, our stories and the stories of others. We are believers in passing down history via oral tradition and the written word. Particularly when telling the stories of others I am a detail fiend. I try not to leave things out or over embellish. This is where having decent handwriting would help. Most people can can grab a pen or pencil and scratch an idea onto a napkin, a Post It note or even a matchbook if that’s what they can reach. Not me. For one thing there are days when I can’t even hold a pen or pencil, much less write with one. My handwriting is so hit or miss that there are days that if i  actually wrote wrote something down, left it and came back, there is a very good chance I won’t be able to read it even though it’s my writing.

     i have several electronic means  of writing , all of which I’m grateful foe, and most of which I use regularly. I can’t help feeling as though my disability has cheated me out of one of the most basic aspects of writing, I can’t enjoy the ink flowing from pen to paper. For me that process is agonizingly slow and often physically painful if I try to write more than just two or three shorter sentences at a time.
     I know that in the digital age lots of people feel that writing with pen and paper is obsolete. I wonder if you’d still feel that way if  a computer or other electronic device was the only means you had to communicate your written words?
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