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Response to The Daily Prompt

Pens and Pencils:
When was the last time you wrote something substantive — a letter, a story, a journal entry, etc. — by hand? Could you ever imagine returning to a pre-keyboard era?



The last thing I wrote by hand was an entry in my journal Moodlings (which had morphed over from Julia Cameron’s Morning Pages). It’s not uncommon for me to write upwards of 3000 to 4000 words at a shot in that journal. It’s a personal journal in which I not only record my feelings and some of my goings on, but I use it to sort out my thoughts while journaling through devotional-type books like Jan Richardson’s In the Sanctuary of Women.

In truth, I can’t imagine typing this kind of journal on a computer. It’s not about getting the words down on the page, it’s about the way it feels as they trickle from your head to your heart, down your veins to your fingers holding a pen and bleeding out onto the page. There’s an actual physical cessation of stress for me when I write this kind of a journal.

I love writing by hand. I would no more send a type-written note to someone than fly to the moon. It’s the intent and emotions that are behind the writing, the taking the time to sit down and consider the person and what you want to say to them. And it can be a lot of fun.

I have a very dear friend that’s as fond of Jane Austen’s books as I am. It’s quite a trip for us to write missives to each other in very proper Austenian (if there is such a word) English. Takes HOURS to write one long letter. I have to keep the thesaurus open to find those archaic words, but it’s a heck of a way to build your vocabulary. And it led us to NAME our houses! I now live at Wits End Cottage. My sister even made us a sign to hang outside. (Bag End was taken…)


Additionally, I print my own “greeting” cards. I started doing that because they’re so expensive. I invented my own little company called Pilgrim’s Press: Because the Journey Matters and paid to have a logo done. It’s a cute little bear drawn by my friend from Washington state, Laure Estep. Those notes and cards are always accompanied by a very personal, hand-written note. For Lent last year I sent out a note a day for seven weeks. It was quite an undertaking! And I enjoyed it immensely. This was the front of the card:

Lent 1So all in all, yeah, I guess I COULD imagine returning to a pre-keyboard era. Although if the schools really do decide to stop teaching penmanship, God only knows what THAT would look like!