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You may be wondering, ‘why, in 2019, do I need to work on my handwriting where the machines are taking over and 99% of my written communication takes place on a computer?” That’s a great question and a fair (if sobering) observation. Penmanship, calligraphy, and handwriting are all falling out of fashion as a communication requirement but trending upwards as a relaxation tool. You’ve seen the relaxation fads come and go: coloring books for adults, knitting, quilting, lace-making. These are all hobbies that sprung forward from people trying to connect with archaic tasks that are no longer necessary.

In the case of folks who have suffered a neuro-injury, practicing handwriting is a great way to increase hand-eye coordination and get mental and physical exercise. And in folks who simply work in corporate or professional environments where there is no room for creativity, handwriting and calligraphy practice provides such an outlet. Take it from Dana:

My name is Dana, I’m an Energy Management Professional with the Energy Management Association where I aide in the development of education for building owners, government agencies, and others about the benefits associated with comprehensive, commissioning-based energy management services. If that sounds like word soup to you, it’s ok. I have a very specific job that takes place 99% online and on computers. I started to feel a great deal of eye-strain and mental burnout from looking at screens up to twelve YES TWELVE hours every day. I wanted to find a hobby that accessed the creative part of my brain but that I could also use to relieve stress and look at something tangible for a few hours every day.

I may not be in recovery from a neurological injury, I’m incredibly fortunate to simply be in recovery from a 9-5 corporate life. Working on calligraphy in my free time has not only offered a welcome distraction from my professional life, but I’ve developed a small side-hustle working to create materials for weddings: invitation, place cards, etc. It’s great to have an entire chunk in my brain that is for creativity only, and that it does earn me a small supplemental income!

Our classes will meet you where you are by starting with the very basics like how to hold a pen and which paper to buy and guide you through to wherever your journey ends. Maybe you’re just trying to make your own wedding invitations. Or maybe you’re hoping to become a master penman and see your work commissioned. Maybe you’re simply looking for a new creative outlet. Or maybe you’re looking to improve your fine motor skills following an injury or traumatic event. We’ll help you decide which course makes the most sense for your life. Take it from Ralph:

After my stroke, I didn’t think I’d be able to use my right hand again. It was a hard concept to process, as a lifelong righty! In the days and weeks following my neurological event, I couldn’t have imagined ever writing another word again. I was fortunate to spend my entire life with body autonomy and suddenly, at the age of 43, had to consider a life with aides, with robot attachments, I didn’t even know what!

A friend suggested I try handwriting classes claiming that focusing that hard on such a minute skill – one that I had perfected once already as a child – may be the push I needed to get back to or close to my baseline. I spent four hours a day for months, with the help of these calligraphy classes, writing words on paper. Sometimes I’d just turn on the tv and write down all of the dialogue, usually several minutes behind the audio.

I have not regained entire body autonomy yet, seven months after the event, but I am able to grip a pen, make deliberate and smooth pen strokes, and apply varying degrees of pressure to the paper. These are small steps but they feel huge to me. The first time I wrote my spouse’s name, I wept. The tear-stained and ink-smeared page is framed in my bathroom reminding me, every morning, how important the little steps to recovery can be!