What is National Handwriting Day?

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Did you know that there’s a national handwriting day? The day has been celebrated since 1977, thanks to the efforts of the Writing Instruments Manufacturer’s Association!

It might not be too surprising that National Handwriting Day is the invention of the trade association responsible for promoting the interests of companies that manufacture the tools needed for handwriting.

Nevertheless, it is certainly a day worth celebrating. Business Optimizer has written extensively in the past about the joys and benefits of handwriting.

Taking paper notes is favoured by some of the world’s top business leaders. And for good reason: writing by hand on paper has been shown to aid focus, understanding, the retention and recall of information, and creativity!

When is National Handwriting Day?

When the Writing Instruments Manufacturer’s Association (WIMA) decided to inaugurate a national day to celebrate handwriting in 1977, it wanted to find a suitable and significant date on which to celebrate it.

It plumped for January 23. Why? Because it wanted to emphasise the important role that handwriting has played throughout America’s – and the world’s – history.

As WIMA Executive Director David H. Baker stated at the time of the 2010 celebration, “Throughout history, handwritten documents have sparked love affairs, started wars, established peace, freed slaves, created movements and declared independence.”

It is for this reason WIMA chose January 23 for National Handwriting Day. Inspired by the distinctive signature of John Hancock, the first signatory to the Declaration of Independence in 1776, it chose Hancock’s birthday as the date for its annual celebration of the handwritten word.

How should we celebrate National Handwriting Day?

Not unexpectedly, WIMA suggests making a variety of pens and pencils available throughout the home or workplace and using unusual and attractive writing instruments to make writing letters, notes, journal entries and lists a little more special.

But you don’t necessarily need new writing instruments to celebrate on January 23. Simply picking up a pen and writing a heartfelt note to a loved one is a great way to mark the day. It’s certainly true that people appreciate handwritten letters and notes – particularly in this age of digital communication. Taking the time to script a thoughtful note by hand is a lovely way to send a message.

Perhaps it should be little wonder that during the pandemic letter writing has seen a resurgence. People who are new to letter writing are seeking out new and meaningful ways to sustain the human connections on which we normally rely, but have often been sadly withheld from us during the national and regional lockdowns that many of us are experiencing.

So why not put pen to paper and celebrate this simple act that has so many benefits associated with it?

If you like the idea of writing to your loved ones and you’d like some inspiration about how to do it, read our article about the lost art of letter writing.

Or, if you fancy turning your handwriting to more academic purposes, read how paper can improve and facilitate your work.