Art of Cursive

Posted Saturday, 04/03/21

Back in 2010, many schools decided to rule out the instruction of cursive handwriting. According to the New York Times: "The Common Core standards seemed to spell the end of the writing style in 2010 when they dropped requirements that the skill be taught in public elementary schools, but about two dozen states have reintroduced the practice since then." Re: Cursive Seemed to Go the Way of Quills and Parchment. Now It's Coming Back.

I handwrite nearly every book before sitting down to type. I usually do it in stages, writing about forty pages and then typing the content (and so on and so forth until the book is completely written). In turn, the typing typically leads to more detailed scenes and dialog as I go along. It's a method that has always worked well for me, so I rarely deviate from it.

Handwriting sample from "Blood & Soul." Click on image to view larger size in a new window.

Print and handwriting array for "Bloodlust." Click on image to view larger size in a new window.

I cannot even imagine not having the ability to write by hand. In the not so distant future, the art might become obsolete (apart from people using it to sign their names). It's a shame, really. Not only is handwriting a personal expression of the individual (a unique fingerprint, if you will), it teaches one to pay attention to detail and, in some ways, it disciplines the mind. I also believe handwriting skills lead to an inquisitive approach to reading and, more importantly, a clear understanding of the content of what one is reading.

According to The Conversation: "Beyond a nostalgia for the pre-digital age, there are good reasons why cursive handwriting needs to make a comeback. Developing fluency in printing and handwriting so that it comes automatically matters for literacy outcomes. Handwriting is also an elegant testimony to the human capacity for written literacy and an inspiring symbol of the unique power of the human voice."

Sample of calligraphy (Carlyle).

One of my dear friends has perfected her calligraphy skills into a fine art, which enabled her to open her own business (Strokes of Love). While handwriting and calligraphy are related, they are certainly not the same thing. In fact, calligraphy is officially termed as a "visual art form." And it's true. People have made careers from calligraphy (such as my friend), their skill sets desirable for elegant invitations, documents, banners, logos, plaques, signs, clothing, accessories, and much more.

Some writing individuality has been lost due to technology, of course. It's only natural as society advances into the future. However, I'm hoping the art of cursive by hand will remain an educational fixture for a long time to come.

Irish Eyes: Writing

Tags: Writing & Editing