My handwriting had always been awful while I was in school, it was legible sometimes and other times I don’t even know what I wrote. My friends even wondered why I kept a note when I sometimes can’t see what I wrote. I bought the 2A’s and D’s so many times, yet it didn’t improve my writing. I could remember one time in secondary school, one of my teachers volunteered to help me improve my writing because he felt it was hindering me in a way, just to tell you how bad I was.
I wasn’t really bothered about it, and living in the digital world where we literally have to type almost everything, my bad handwriting wasn’t much of a bother to me. But I have always been an old-fashioned writer, I wrote all of my ideas down, my write-ups were always written first in my notebook before I type them on my computer. I recently had to show a more advanced writer my notebook, and he was finding it hard to read what I had written, and it was really embarrassing. It was then I realised I had to do something about my handwriting. It was not like I wanted to train myself to be a calligrapher; I just wanted to have a better handwriting.
If you have a bad handwriting like me, you may think you don’t need to improve your handwriting, but having better handwriting doesn’t hurt. You won’t be embarrassed to write things and you won’t have the urge to ask people all the time if they can read what you wrote.
I read in an article, that people with bad handwriting have probably been writing the wrong way their entire life. Fortunately, it is possible to reboot years of misaligned muscle memory and improve your handwriting – you just need time, determination, and the following common sense tips.
1. Write a paragraph
Choose a topic—anything really—and write at least five sentences about it. If you’re not feeling too creative, simply copy a passage out of a book or newspaper. The goal is to get an idea of what your handwriting looks like on average. The more you write, the more accurate your analysis will be.
2. Choose your weapon carefully.
English writer Edward Bulwer-Lytton famously wrote that “the pen is mightier than the sword.” You don’t expect to go into a battle with a rusty sword, or without the right weapon and armour. The same applies with your pen, you need to find a pen that works for you. You shouldn’t expect to produce beautiful handwriting using a half-chewed Biro.
It’s not necessary to buy a gold fountain pen with jewel-studded nib and ink distilled from a virgin squid unless you happen to be a particularly sophisticated Bond villain. But you should experiment until you find a type of pen that works for you. You should look for one that’s comfortable to hold, and where the ink flows smoothly without your having to push too hard on the paper.
3. Get a grip
Although your pen does have a pointy bit, it’s not actually a mighty sword, so you needn’t hold it like one. Your grip should be light yet supportive, and there should be no undue tension in your hand position. Don’t squeeze — your pen is no more a tube of toothpaste than it is a weapon, and the ink will flow of its own accord.
It doesn’t really matter which fingers you use to hold the pen, as long as it feels comfortable and balanced.
4. Identify the primary shapes
Is your handwriting full of loops and curves? Is it primarily straight lines and stiff in appearance? Do you have hard corners, or do your letters blend together?
5. Put your shoulder into it
Having the right pen, correct grip, and good posture is worth nothing if you’re drawing the letters with your fingers. Your shoulder and forearm move as you write, but your wrist and fingers don’t. This helps you write in a more fluid, efficient style.
6. Practice your alphabet.
Yes, just like in primary school, fill up rows upon rows of lines with each letter of the alphabet in lower and uppercase. Use your font inspiration that you gathered as well as your handwriting analysis to focus on what you need to change. If slanting is your problem, make it a point to keep your letters vertical. If you are trying to change the shapes of your letters, concentrate simulating the shapes you see in the handwriting inspiration you’ve chosen.
7. Write a phrase over and over again
The adage practice makes perfect is true in this context. When you’re certain of your every letter’s perfection, practice writing them in full words and sentences. Write the phrase “the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” over and over again—this particular sentence contains every letter of the alphabet, giving you ample practice time.
8. Always handwrite things
Pass up the option to type that essay outline or reply the text from your friend, and instead, make the effort to handwrite your work. Taking the opportunity to write things by hand whenever possible will be the most beneficial practice in improving your handwriting