Hey all, i’m kinda new here so please forgive me if i’ve posted this in the incorrect place. Anyway, here is my question…
Is there any way that i can change my handwriting, and if so, how? It’s not as though i want to forge financial instruments or that i’m on the run or anything, i just have really bad penmanship. It looks so horrible i might as well use a nice fat crayola instead of a pen. I look with envy at so many people who have beautiful handwriting, or just really “cool” looking writing. Any ideas on how to change this, or is it time to break out the old Big Chief tablet and write all day, trying to force against my natural tendencies? Thank you so much in advance for any advice you may have to offer…
Sure, you can change your handwriting. You have to set your mind to inprove it, and be consistent with it, but it can be done.
I once had horrible handwriting (compared to the cutesy penmanship of some girls I know, I still do). Then one day I admired the unique loops and flourishes of a friend’s handwriting. I decided to try to copy it. So I did. And my handwriting changed.
It took a while before I could write like her without consciously trying to do so, but in time, it came naturally. My handwriting has, for the most part, retained the loops and flourishes and such. I’m just not as anal about it as I used to be.
I can second what AudreyK said. (Heya babe, gimme back my cat!).
When I was younger my handwriting was great. Everyone commented on it’s look. To me, it looked ‘girlish’. Being the young man that I was, there was no having that! I immediately changed it. What were once nice and proud loops quickly turned to aggressive and testosterone driven ‘man writing’- Incomprehensible gibberish.
All you have to do is be more cognizant of what you’re doing. It’ll take a bit, maybe a month or two, and you’ll slowly adopt the method you’re after.
After my gibberish stage faded, I went back to something that was actually intelligible. Once again, I paid attention to what and how I was writing things, and made the adjustments I needed. It goes slow at first, but it quickly speeds up to the point that it becomes ‘normal’, or different.
::sneaks back to CnoteChris’s house and lets Z in through a window::
She’s such a sweet kitty!
Thanks Audicans. She missed me. Now then, where’d I put the buffalo wing spice mix?
Sorry Dani, hijack over.
Again, you can change your writing if your willing to spend the time and energy. It worked for me.
Fred Eager’s Calligraphy book was the one I used. But it’s out of print - but worth hunting down. This woman’s site also looks interesting, but I haven’t looked at it too deeply.
I used Fred Eager’s step-by-step workbook to learn calligraphy when I was in my 20s. I had sloppy writing, and it irked me. I never was (or will be) a master calligrapher, but after I went through that workbook (which took some patience, it always does) my writing was forever altered. I cannot say my writing is great, but it is MUCH better. And whenever I want to, I can go into “calligraphy mode” and produce a lovely handwriting style. I’ve even done a little bit of professional calligraphy. (For certificates, etc.) My writing still gets sloppy when I’m in a rush, but still! It has forever been altered because of my study of calligraphy. Calligraphy is not a “wussy” thing to learn. It is an effective way to change your writing dramatically. And it can be a fascinating art.
Chris, cat meat doesn’t taste good with spicy seasonings. I recommend a good teriyaki sauce instead.
Dani Filth, I think a good way to start is to find a handwriting style you like. Easier said than done, though… You might seem kinda strange soliciting handwriting samples from people.
So… if you can’t get writing samples from people, I recommend you find a book on computer fonts and typefaces. There are literally tens of thousands of typefaces out there, and many of them are designed to look like handwriting. Take a look at those, and see what styles you like.
Of course, that’s not to say that you will be able to/should make yourself write exactly like the typeface, but… well… Say for example, you like how the capital letter “C” looks in the ITC’s typeface Carpenter. (Sorry, I couldn’t link directly to a sample.) You can try copying how that C is done, and incorporate it into your handwriting.
It’ll take time and a lot of practice, but it can be done, and it’s worth the effort.
Whoops, yosemitebabe, didn’t see your post. Calligraphy-- great suggestion.
Hi, my name is Rhythmdvl, and I have crappy handwriting.
I was quite the clever child (or so I thought). When I was in grade school, I was told that I could petition the… er, sorry, wrong forum. Anyway, I was too busy playing to bother with I before E except after lunch, or when two vowels go walking, the first one buys the tickets or other spelling rules. So I tried this clever idea. Whenever I was not sure how to spell a word, ‘friend’ for instance, I would make the I and the E such that you could not tell exactly where the dot was, and you could not really tell which was which. Brilliant, I thought. They have to give me credit for spelling it, right? I became very adept at this over time, so that by third grade, I was able to write complete sentences without a clear word in the group.
The aftermath? I fooled no one (except myself) grew up with illegible handwriting and can’t post here without writing it out in spellchecker-friendly MS Word. I am thirty-one years old and write like a kindergartner.
Dani Filth, you have my welcome to the boards, and my deepest sympathy and best wishes. I have often tried to change my style, but typically fail miserably. Maybe I have just never applied myself enough, never wanted it enough. I like some of the suggestions here, and am willing to try again. Calligraphy sounds good, though I fear I may end up with Charlie-Brownish results. But I’ll try. Copying fonts sounds good too (though I have to be sure to avoid Wingdings!) Wish me luck too!
The key to changing you handwriting is practice. You are retraining your hand and brain, and breaking old habits is sometimes hard.
It might seem pretty lame to you to write a whole page of I’s or cursive l’s or o’s, but that’s the best way to make your writing even and consistent. You can practice while watching tv, or in class or meetings–just make sure nobody’s peeking over your shoulder :). Look for a book on handwriting at the library for exercises.
After you’ve got the basics down, you can start focusing on specific letters and/or letter groups that give you trouble. Look at a sample of your writing that you wrote when you were not thinking about your handwriting, and try to identify words and letters that look sloppy. Experiment with different ways of writing them. How exactly is each letter drawn? Which letters do you join and leave unjoined? When you find a way of writing the letter(s) that 1) feels good and 2) looks good, practice it. After some practice, you’ll find yourself writing that way naturally.
I think the most important thing is don’t just try to exactly copy some model. Incorporate the elements you like and discard what you don’t, and remember that the goal of handwriting is to communicate first, and look pretty second.
I also didn’t like my handwriting - so when I was a teenager I got a hold of a calligraphy book and (and yes, this is silly) a handwriting analysis book…
I went through the analysis book and picked out the traits that I wanted to be known as having, and through the calligraphy and picked out how I wanted the letters to look in general - and figured out what my handwriting should be.
Then, I practiced a lot. (I was still in jr. high or high school at the time, so during boring classes, I would fill notebook paper with "a"s or "c"s or "m"s or combinations of letters, or recopy poems until they looked the way I wanted the writing to look.)
It became pretty much what it is today. (And should anyone choose to analyse it, they’ll find the person I wanted to pretend to be at 13-or-so-years-old.)