Through the (almost) 5 years since I've left college, I've been keenly aware of the declining quality of my penmanship.  Like so many others, 99% of the written word I generate is recorded via a keyboard and computer instead of via pen and ink.  About two years ago, I decided that, in order to reverse the declining quality of my handwriting, I needed to be very intentional about regularly picking up a pen and writing.  Around the same time I came to this realization, I was gifted my first fountain pen by Mr. Anderson.  Shortly after receiveing the pen (and ordering some inks from Levenger), I picked up my first Moleskine and started writing regularly.  Since that time, I've tried (with varying success) to sit down at least once weekly to write a few pages.  Honestly, I can't say that my penmanship has improved a whole lot, but that's okay.  I've really come to enjoy the ritual that comes along with "real" writing.  Like the ritual of filling, tamping, lighting, and enjoying a nice pipe with a friend, I take joy in the process of selecting ink, drawing it up into the pen and putting the ink to paper in a meaningful way.

So...all of that to introduce an article I ran across today in The Guardian.  The article talks at length about this issue - the global decline of handwriting quality.  I found it very interesting, and it gladdened me to realize that in a small way, I've been doing my part to improve this situation.  For those of you who don't write much, I'd encourage you to treat yourself to a nice pen (doesn't have to be a \$150 Waterman - really anything better than a \$0.25 bic will do), some decent paper (a Moleskine, perhaps?) and write periodically.  Writing well is a skill that not many people posses in today's world - hopefully after spending some good time with pen, ink, and paper, you'll soon be able to take pride in your penmanship.  Our loved ones would delight in receiving well-thought-out, handwritten notes instead of terse, rather impersonal emails.  They deserve the time it takes to hand-write the notes, and so do you.