There are some fonts available with a write on effect built in to Apple Motion. There is no automated way to do this with every font in After Effects. You have the options to reveal you text with an animated mask. This can be created with an animated stroke created from a mask path or by using the write on effect. You also have the option to film yourself writing out the text. If you do this by writing the font with a black sharpie or marker on white paper then you can use the multiply effect to remove the white but you'll still have the problem of removing your hand. You could experiment by placing the paper on a piece of glass then filming from the back side and reversing the image if you can find a paper or plastic material that the ink will show through properly. You could also invest in a Wacom tablet and record your pen strokes using either a screen capture app or by using a program that would record your paint strokes. Painter used to do that but I haven't used it for years. The only other option that I know of would be Apple Motion. If you are working on a Mac you might want to take a look at that and see if that feature still exists. I have not had motion for about 4 years now.
Thank you very much for your response!
I will have a look at those options and see where I end up.