Handwritten letter
National Handwriting Day on Jan. 23 celebrates the lost art of penmanship. Erkki Makkonen/Getty Images

National Handwriting Day doesn’t boast free pie slices, but you can savor the lost art of handwriting on Jan. 23 by putting pen to paper. “Though computers and email play an important role in our lives, nothing will ever replace the sincerity and individualism expressed through the handwritten word,” said David Baker, executive director of the Writing Instrument Manufacturers Association, which set the designated date to celebrate handwriting in 1977.

The Writing Instrument Manufacturers Association planned the national day in conjunction with John Hancock’s birthday, because Hancock was the first to sign the Declaration of Independence with his renowned signature. Here are five ways to celebrate National Handwriting Day:

1. Write a letter. Whether it’s to a family member across the country or a friend in class, write a handwritten note to show someone you care. “Sending a handwritten letter is becoming such an anomaly. It’s disappearing. My mom is the only one who still writes letters. And there’s something visceral about opening a letter -- I see her on the page. I see her in her handwriting,” actor Steve Carrell said.

2. Read a book. So maybe you’re not a fan of handwriting letters. But if you appreciate the art of writing, take time today to read a book by your favorite author. “Good writing is like a windowpane,” author George Orwell said.

3. Analyze your handwriting. Christian Dior once said “a woman’s perfume tells more about her than her handwriting.” But handwriting can actually tell you a lot about a person including their sociability, mood, willpower and confidence. Analyze your own handwriting or someone else’s to determine personality characteristics.

4. Start a diary. A recent study published in the journal Psychological Science found keeping a diary brings unexpected joy in life’s everyday musings. “Our research shows that we can find joy in journaling about ordinary events, and importantly, later rediscovering those journal entries at a future point in time,” researcher Ting Zhang told the New York Times.

5. Write a poem or short story. While on your lunch break, take 30 minutes to express yourself creatively on paper while you sip a cup of fresh coffee. “The idea of just wandering off to a cafe with a notebook and writing and seeing where that takes me for a while is just bliss,” J.K. Rowling, author of "Harry Potter" series, told Entertainment Weekly in 2007.