There was a time when the only people who wrote on a daily basis were journalists and authors but now, with the popularity of blogging and social media, many people share messages with the world every day. One of the oddest aspects of this shift, however, is that, in the process, we are forgetting how to actually write.

Nowadays, we type either on a keyboard, tablet or smartphone instead of using a pen and paper. With the increasing popularity of services such as direct deposit for paychecks, we don’t even need to sign those any more. Even worse, more and more schools are omitting cursive writing from their curriculums.

It’s true that being able to text someone is very convenient but there is something to be said for the excitement we felt when we passed a note to our secret crush in school or received a handwritten letter in the mail. Anyone who has come across an old letter that, perhaps, was written by their grandparents or an unknown soldier can attest to the magical feeling of holding something that was once touched by someone in another place and time.

Would the Declaration of Independence look as majestic if it was just Times New Roman typeface printed out on computer paper? Absolutely not. Thomas Jefferson put his quill to that parchment and, knowing that he couldn’t hit delete, took the time to be deliberate with his wording so that it actually conveyed his intent. Today, so many misunderstandings occur because we put so little thought into our words.

National Handwriting Day is celebrated each year on January 23rd, the birthday of John Hancock, whose signature became famous for being first on the Declaration of Independence. Hancock’s name was especially largely, and became so iconic that “John Hancock” became a slang word for signature. Last year, Moleskin expanded on the day – inviting the public to pick up a real pen (not a stylus!) and paper to write their social media messages. Last year, they received hundreds of submissions from people around the world and, hopefully, this year will be even better!

Today, January 23, 2014 is Handwriting Day and I encourage you to share this message with your friends and come up with cool, fun and creative handwritten messages along with the hashtags #HandwritingDay and #mHDay. Images with the hashtags will be automatically aggregated into a special Moleskine gallery, which you will find here.

Keep the magic alive. Happy Handwriting Day!

photo credit: arnoKath via photopin cc