Throughout October we are going to focus on being present by unplugging. “Unplugged” is going to help you find things to do when you just want to disconnect. It can be 10 minutes or a whole day. Take a chance and join us. All unplugged posts can be found here.
When was the last time you took the time to write for the sake of writing? Was it during University, College , High School or , as far back as Elementary school? No matter when was the last time, there is always a chance to start again. Even with technology slowly taking over our lives, pen and paper has taken the back seat.
Why should you start again? Writing with good old pen and paper helps you focus on a task ( by the way put your phone on air plane mode, you will thank me). Secondly, it also helps you remember material. The very act of taking notes during a lecture (or webinar) helps you absorb and keep the information. Thirdly, doing something mindful (aka turning off and being present) has been known to reduce stress, anxiety and fight depression. Lastly, (this is for my tea friends) it connects us to something from the earth. Paper comes from a plant just like tea, take a moment like the tea sages and reflect on paper.
Before we get into the tips, I wanted to discuss tools. There are so many out there it can be daunting. Try different materials next time you are out. My favorites are fountain pens (refillable with ink you want), brush pens and fine tipped pens (0.3 point). Go to your local art store or hobby shop and test a few out. It is welcomed. Always.
Tips to improve your writing
Get some scrap paper and get messy (make mistakes). Most of all have fun. Write out the alphabet or even just write out words you love to write. Some of mine include: love, free, live, and breath (with an occasional “wheeee” because I can). By the way if it feels like your cramping up you may want to check out this post for form. Remember: move your arm, not your wrist.
Morning pages are what Julia Cameron encourages in her book “The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity”. All you have to do is free write (no editing, this is for your eyes only after all) three pages every morning. The very act will allow you to let go of all the thoughts that are going on (consciously and subconsciously). After doing this for a while you will have more focus, and had the chance to practice. Two birds with one stone. Yey!
Always take written notes
As I said earlier there is a link to writing and memory. But it also let’s you reframe thoughts as you go. During university this was my go to method. Writing out my exam notes by hand helped me remember crazy dates and names that I needed to pass. In any field this is something that will help you go further ( and perhaps even improve your memory over time).
Keep a physical planner
There is something that just satisfies the soul when you create a to-do list, plan out gifts to buy, budget, wish lists etc. It helps you focus and keep your mind free for other things (like more tea or yoga maybe). From experience my planner keeps me accountable. All my reminders are in there (with some alarms on my phone too). For job hunting it has allowed me to make a list of places to apply, numbers to follow up by and keep track of who I even talked to. It just makes things simple.
Send hand written letter or cards
This is high on my list for this month, sending a little note to friends or family goes a long way. When you write it by hand it gives it a personal touch that will be conveyed to the reader. Now I am not talking about buying a card and putting their name, date, and signing. I am referring to actually writing a little note from the heart. Tell them why they matter to you and that they are in your thoughts. Or hey you can even start sending mail to a pen pal for practice. Anything is better than nothing.
What ways do you use to improve your handwriting? Share in the comments below.