The 'S' Word

Today is National Stationery and in this post Jackee Holder shares her healthy addiction to all things stationery and tells the story of where it all started.

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25 April to 1 May is National Stationery Week and today is World Stationery day #WorldStationeryDay. According to YouGov research commissioned by National Stationery Week, 92% of adults think that writing by hand is important and 97% think it is important for children to be taught to write. They are on the right track as recent research are highlighting many benefits of writing by hand including better memory retention, reduces stress in some regions and slows you down.

My addiction to the ‘S’ Word – Stationery that is began in primary school with a love affair with the stationary cupboard. In 1960's the stationery cupboard in my local South London school was a ‘god’. Standing in the corner of the classroom the size of a huge double-sided wardrobe with four doors two either side, top and bottom.

Some teachers you know the kind I’m talking about were pretty spirited about the stationary cupboard keeping the contents guarded under lock and key and being mean and resenting the occasions when they had to hand round freshly minted exercise books straight out of the wrappers and virgin pencils and pens.

Mrs Hinds my favourite all time teacher had a more liberal attitude and relationship with the stationary cupboard and my memory was of the doors wide open and children being able to freely dip in and out tucking into the many delights the cupboard held all under her firm and watchful gaze.

The contents of the cupboard still make me squeal with delight. Exercise books in all sizes and colours with labels to insert your name and class number on the front. Square pads of sticky paper in every colour you could imagine, sheets of sugar ad crepe paper, boxes of unmarked rubbers and pens and pencils ready to make their debut on the naked page.

I liked to rip off the cellophane the books were packaged in and I still hunger for the weight in my hand of a bundle of fresh exercise books as I went around the class placing each one on the desk. Oh, did I forget to mention I was the class stationary monitor.

Mrs Hinds taught all our class to write using italic handwriting. Our lessons would take place on a Friday afternoon. A hush would descend over the class as we hunched over our landscape exercise books and copied the alphabet letter by letter capturing the tails and all the different angles required of italic script. It wasn’t long before I begged my parents for a fountain pen so I could write properly. This prompted a trip to the stationary shop on our high road with one of those big wooden, glass cased counters filled with rows of fountain pens that went on forever.

Her class paid off and for years I would receive glowing compliments on my beautiful handwriting. It would speak to my character, get people to smile at me and get me into places. I’m delighted that handwriting is on the come back. By the time I had reached secondary school I had graduated to using Quink ink contained in near black weighted glass bottles and packaged in nay and white boxes that made a thirteen year old feel all grown up. The years since back then has seen no sign of recovery on my part from the ‘S’ word. I hoard piles of freshly minted journals and notebooks, hundreds of pens scattered around the house and a collection of unused pens still in boxes that have been given to me as birthday and thank you gifts over the years from family and friends.

  • If you enjoyed my stationery memory trip why not think about your own memories about your favourite item of stationery.
  • Or what about treating yourself to a new notebook one that really like and ire inspired by either the design, the cover or the way it feels when you pick it up. Overall sales in stationery are on the rise. This means that writing by hand will also be on the up.
  • I’d love to know what’s your favourite piece of stationary and why?

Want to read more about stationery then have a read of Adventures in Stationery: A Journey Through Your Pencil Case by James Ward He writes so well about a subject he is passionate about. It really is a fine example of strong essay writing.

I hope you have a lovely bank holiday. I am looking forward to next week's Writing To Heal Your Life workshop with Psychologies Magazine and Now Live Events where I will be dispensing writing prescriptions remedies and cures. If you have something you would like to receive a writing prescription for please leave me a note in the comments box or email me me at

I hope to see many of my readers and followers there. Bring your friends and family members along too. The workshops are creative, interactive and fun.

Here's the details to join us if you are free on the evening of Tuesday 3rd May at 7pm


3 May 2016 at Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1 4RL at 7pm

Jackee Holder

Professional & Personal Coach, Author, Speaker & Journal Coach, Life Is A Work In Progress!

I am energised and come alive when I am writing and journaling and over the years I have filled the pages of over one hundred journals. I am a bookaholic and see writers of all genres as part of my natural tribe. I am qualified in many areas of personal development and well-being including a Masters degree in creative writing and personal development from Sussex University and in the completion stages of training as a psychosynthesis counsellor. But by far life and it many bumps, bruises and triumphs continues to be my greatest teacher. Life has been a series of adventures and challenges but creativity has remained a mainstream force of my life. This means that over a period of twenty years I have authored four published books, 49 Ways To Write Yourself Well, Be Your Own Best Life Coach, The Journal Journey Guidebook and Soul Purpose along with numerous workbooks, e-books, free journaling products and articles for a range of journals and magazines. I have recently launched The Inner and Outer Nature Self Discovery deck of cards which brings together my love of journaling and nature. In my professional vocation I work as a corporate coach, coach supervisor and leadership facilitator. I love what I do, no two days are the same and I love how I can bring so much of what brings me alive into this work. I care about our environment and have a deep reverance for trees and nature. I hold nature and journaling as my go to sources of well being and write regularly around the therapeutic benefits of forest bathing, connecting with nature and journaling. Twice a year I open the doors to my online well being journaling class, Paper Therapy. Over five weeks you are immersed in a world of journaling prompts and exercises that empower you to creatively and mindfully grow a daily or weekly journaling practice. You will learn about the therapeutic benefits of journaling and how journaling can help you thrive even when you are challenged and stretched. Paper Therapy I journal regularly, love listening to an eclectic range of podcasts interviews which challenge me to think outside the box. I am an early morning urban city walker and love the quiet hum of the mornings when most of the rest of the world is asleep. I have a real curiosity about trees and tree mythology and love the way trees beautify our and resource the environment. London is my home and for now I feel so lucky to live in the city with the most green parks and spaces in the world. You can find Jackee here: Follow me on my urban walkabouts at Instagram:@jackeeholderinspires @girlabouttown Twitter: @jackeeholder