Greg Morris

Designer, Pretend Photographer, Dad

My Handwriting Can’t Keep Up

For years, I’ve been trying to figure out why my handwriting is so bad. Seriously, it’s like what you’d expect from a three-year-old. I often blame my years in higher education – anyone who’s been through it knows that, unless you really put in the effort, your handwriting just stagnates after school. Everything has to be typed up neatly before submission, making pen and paper seem redundant.

I’m digressing a bit, but that’s usually my go-to explanation when, much to my dismay, someone catches a glimpse of my writing. This issue really came to the forefront recently when I had to write out some Christmas cards, a task I normally leave to my wife, who has flawless handwriting. Confronted with the task of writing on the cards, I was appalled at the mess I’d made.

What’s odd is my fondness for jotting notes in a physical notebook. The brief notes and thoughts I jot down often require some deciphering, but it’s when I have to write at length that my handwriting really deteriorates. Whenever I write morning pages, I choose to type them, contrary to popular advice to write them manually. I attribute this to my ability to type quickly enough to keep up with my thoughts, a realisation that recently struck me as the real issue.

Before I started using Day One in January last year, I watched every review and setup video available. Many emphasised the speed of typing over handwriting, and I agreed. My hand couldn’t match the pace of my thoughts, which I saw as a drawback. So, I decided to subscribe and type instead of writing by hand. In reality, I didn’t need to speed up my writing to match my thoughts; instead, I needed to slow my thoughts to match my writing pace.

This shift transformed an already effective practice for the better. My hand stopped cramping, and my words became clearer as I stopped rushing. Most importantly, I slowed my thought process to match my handwriting pace, allowing me to maintain and focus on my thoughts longer. In my haste to express and release them, I hadn’t been giving them the necessary space. Don’t get me wrong, I still struggle with what to write half the time, but now, I relish the process of slowly and thoughtfully putting pen to paper.

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