In 2010, when my blog had only about a handful of readers and was a little different from what it is now, I posted an irregular series of four posts titled "Notes to Self", the first one being this one. Funnily enough, that post was inspired by something I had been reading on someone else's blog, too - just like this time.
And the reason for my handwriting being as untidy as it is was already mentioned there: I used to work at a company where 60 weekly newspapers of small rural communities were produced every week. I was responsible for the adverts pages in those papers, and this was long before nearly everybody had access to the internet and was sending emails back and forth all day.
Back then, most of our business was done over the phone, and I was constantly rung by customers wanting to place ads in our papers. They gave me whatever they wanted published over the phone, with me scribbling along as fast as I could. We did not have headsets for our telephones; instead, I was always squeezing the receiver between my left shoulder and my ear.
You can imagine that this was a) not leading to particularly neat handwriting and b) very bad - on the long run, especially - for my neck, shoulders and back. I am still struggling with the consequences of working like this for years, even though I have left that company more than 15 years ago.
Back to my handwriting: I have never been particularly good at this. Maybe it has to do with bad eyesight (I was wearing specs already at the age of 7), maybe part of it is due to my own impatience of getting my thoughts on paper as fast as possible, as it was when at school we were told to write an essay. I would cover pages and pages (easily 10 of them) with my scribbles, and although I guess my teachers sat there, sighing over my untidy writing, they usually liked what I wrote, and I always received good grades for my essays. Or did my teachers simply give up and put a good grades underneath, just to get it over with? I will never know!
When I knew it mattered, I tried to write really well and made an effort - as I still do when, for instance, I write Christmas cards. Those of you who have received a card from me will know that I do not always succeed! But this example of my handwriting from the early 1990s shows you what I mean:
|Part of a CV, back when they were still meant to be written by hand
In 2011-12, I was working from home most of the time, selling point of sale hardware to people whose business it was to install their software on our hardware and sell the finished product to shops, restaurants and anywhere else where people pay for goods or services. I kept a log of orders to make sure my boss did not omit any of them when adding up my monthly bonus, and it looked rather tidy, too:
The above mentioned post by YP was all about his diaries. I have been keeping diaries for some years now. They started out as mainly for work, and still contain all my work-related appointments. What with me often working in 3 to 5 different locations in one single week, I don't want to get up in the morning, not knowing where I am supposed to be today!
I put down notes about the weather, personal appointments and remarks in them, too.
Here is my collection from 2011 to 2017 (left to right, with the brown one being my current diary):
|Typical example of a 2014 week. Entries include when I was going to the gym with a friend, work location and when to put out the bin.
|These are all names of customers I planned to ring (and did ring) each day when I was still selling hardware. After each phone call, I crossed out the name on my list. Other entries are about the weather and when I was having lunch with my parents.
|Self-explanatory, I suppose!
|Last year's Yorkshire holiday. I wonder whether you can read any of it - you have the posts here on my blog for reference.
After all this, what is the conclusion? That someone who loves order and enjoys keeping their flat neat and tidy can still have very untidy handwriting? Could it be that, precisely because my handwriting is so "un-neat", I need more order around me?
I really don't know, but would like to know what you think about it.