I had the pleasure of having a lot of brilliant conversations today. One that stood out was about pens – and more specifically, about writing. As a child, I was taught using pencils and pens. I made my notes by hand. Every year, as technology advances, the number of people making notes by hand seems to go down. And since it is #RymanLovesPens, I wanted to take a moment to stop and appreciate the fact that I do write. Writing truly does matter – and having a good pen just helps make the experience even more fun.
Why does writing matter? How is it good?
Writing matters for many reasons, to be honest. Even writing something like your daily or weekly to do list by hand can be effective. Writing it down helps you actually remember it better. This is true for a variety of things – whether it is studying or making plans. This may not be the case for everyone but it definitely was for me. I am more likely to remember something once I have written it down somewhere, even if it was only once. This is why I use a physical planner, rather than a digital one. I just cannot recall plans that I put in on my phone, but if I handwrite it, I’m more likely to remember it.
Does it have health benefits?
If you work in an office or use a laptop for your studies, writing can provide you with a good break. It helps prevent your hands from cramping up. It might actually help reduce pain or from getting repetitive strain injury too, as you use different muscles and positions by doing different tasks. I personally like switching between the two where I can.
If I’m at work, I will type a lot of emails or write articles, for example. Whenever I can, I pick up a pen and write out things by hand instead. That morning to do list? Always done by hand. Drafting ideas for the article? I do a mind map on paper. I work in a very digital environment – digital marketing and communications – but I break up the tasks with stationery wherever I can. I have noticed that doing this helps remove the pain that I am getting from typing too much (aka RSI). It won’t prevent it entirely, but it can definitely help.
Writing has self-care benefits too.
It’s not just good for your physical health, writing can also have self-care benefits. A number of the stationery self-care ideas that I have shared previously relate to writing. You could write a journal or letters, which are good to help clear your mind. It also helps you to release some of your stress, frustrations or negative emotions. It might not cure everything but writing down your feelings when you’re upset or angry can sometimes help you to overcome it.
It is like talking to someone but without any judgement. You don’t need to find a non-judgemental person who is a good listener. You just write. Sometimes, you’ll be able to reflect on the situation and realise that perhaps it was not worth getting upset or angry over. Other times, you might see a new perspective – perhaps see it from the other side. And occasionally, it just feels like a weight off your shoulders – like you can finally breathe again.
Everyone can use the same font but your handwriting is unique to you.
Whether you’re writing a message to someone or an article, the font you use will likely be one that is available to others too. Arial, Georgia, Helvetica etc, are all used so often. There are a huge range of fonts but there are also many users for each one. Your handwriting, however, is like your signature. It is yours, unique to you. I really like seeing a greeting card signed by lots of different people. The different handwriting on it is always so interesting. You can recognise someone by their handwriting at times. I love that. Your handwriting is a part of you, as much as your personality. Embrace it and show it off.
What to write with?
Honestly, sometimes, this is as important as what you’re writing. Occasionally, you just want to get things down with whatever pen you find near you. Other times, you may want to savour what you’re writing or keep it in the long run. You need a good pen or ink that won’t fade away within days.
Your choice of pen may also depend on what your writing. Today’s to do list usually is written in whatever pen I can grab first – usually a ballpoint pen at work as I can write fast in one of them. However, I always try to use a fountain pen with my journal. This is because it slows me down. I write a little slower and therefore have a chance to reflect on the words I am writing. If I need to journal quickly, just to release some emotions, I grab a rollerball pen for that. If I was crafting with watercolours, I would pick a waterproof pen. If I need something that can be removed, perhaps a pencil or an erasable pen is more suitable.
Celebrate #RymanLovesPens with everyone
There is a huge range of writing instruments – and an arsenal of reasons why writing matters. I have listed a few of them here today – and only a few reasons as to why you should write. Pick your weapon carefully, write your story well.
For the second day of National Stationery Week, decide to write something today that you perhaps don’t normally do. Make a conscious decision to hold your pen and see how it feels.
Share your favourite pens, why writing matters to you and your love for stationery throughout the week. You can join the conversation on social media if you want to take a break from writing by hand! Hit me up on Twitter or Instagram – or comment below, lets talk about stationery. You can use #RymanLovesPens to talk about this topic specifically or #WritingMatters too.