How does one go about improving his/her handwriting...?

Does there remain a General Question here?

I had messy writting up until the 12th grade or so. Now my writing is fairly neat and always readable. I think I may have been hooking my hand to write in order to accomodate the desks (I’m a leftie) but there are other changes I made that I around that time: I gave up cursive, which I’d been required to use for all written assignments, and went back to printing; I switched to fine-point pens, or ultra-fine if possible; I “practiced” several hours a week by taking notes as neatly as possible for my college classes, and wrote out first drafts of papers for extra practice.

These things have been mentioned, but mainly I wanted mention what I feel helped me to give you hope that you can vastly improve your writing as a young adult.

LostCause - That’s a signal from the moderator to say “yes, my question has been answered” or “no, please move the thread to IMHO or GD”


But if you’re a lefty, forget about any chances of improving your handwriting: the pen is constructed backwards and the words go in the wrong direction for lefties. Try using a fountain pen with a normal grip in your left hand. Doesn’t work. The tip is pushed into the paper and big spots of ink come out, then the heel of the hand drags across the ink and smudges it.
Now, if we were a truly egalitarian society, we would write in the bostrophedon style (not sure about the spelling there), so that you read from left to right and then the next line goes from right to learn, turning as the ox does in plowing the fields.

Personally my hand writing is screwed up because of my lerning disability. Aparantly Dyslexics have attrocious handwriting. I write everything I can in Print, only using Cursive for my signature. You might get checked for a learning Disability, it might help you learn why your handwriting is so bad, and how to get at the root of the problem.

Pablito - Left handed people can improve their hand-writing and can even use a fountain pen to do so. My 9 year old son is left handed and writes more legibly than his 12 year old right handed brother… with a fountain pen. Admittedly, he has worked much harder at improving his handwriting and by being left handed he has to write much miore slowly to keep from smudging the ink.

Left handed people can even learn calligraphy as long as they have left handed pens.

This is the way Chinese do it. YMMV.

There were/are a ton of Chinese with great handwritings, I’ll just call them calligraphers for the sake of notation. Now these people have lots of distinctive styles. What you do then is to find a style you like, get a book of this style, and practice away.

There are two rules:

  1. Pratice the fundamentals first. That means improve your writings in prints first, then do the cursive stuff.

  2. Feedback is of essence. Don’t just keep writing. Compare your writings with your goal, figure out what needs to be done, and do those things.

My handwriting had been quite awful before the age of 18. It improved remarkably when I was in university (undergrad + postgrad work). Perhaps somebody hit me over the head :smiley:

I’m sure you’re right, Feynn. But I’ll bet your 9 year old hooks his hand around when he writes. Some lefties, myself included, find it natural to hold their hand in the mirror position of right-handed people when they write. If you’re wired like that, you’re forever going to be pushing the pen (with tip pointing to the right and the back of the pen pointing to the left) instead of pulling it, like a righty or a ‘hook’ lefty.

Um. . . . help me out with this. What does a left handed pen look like? Is it like left-handed monkey wrench? :slight_smile:

[url=“”]Left-handed caligraphy nib.*

As you can see, instead of being cut straight, there’s a bit of a slant to the nib.

Left-handed caligraphy nib.

Frazzin razzin razzin frazzin razzin . . .

Pod… you beat me to the answer.

A nib with an angled cut is called an oblique nib; most of the nibs I make are right oblique italic stubs but I have made a few left obliques for people.

Pablito -

“But I’ll bet your 9 year old hooks his hand around when he writes.”

What do I win?

He writes like you do and with a very smooth medium nib he can move the pen in any direction and have it glide across the paper. It does help when your dad custom polishes nibs and can fine tune the pen to your hand… :slight_smile:

Our neighbour’s daughter is also a lefty and writes in an identical fashion when using the FP I gave her at Christmas.

I write horrible with my right hand. Should I start writing with my left hand ( I am right handed ) and get better writing with left or just improve with right?

Kriss - I would suggest that you keep writing with your right hand and just putting in a little more practice. The people who have suggested having another person evaluate your handwriting is a great idea as even though you may be able to read your own writing, others may not. Like I also mentioned, having the right pen can make a world of difference, you could always head down to your local supply store and many will let you open and test pens before you buy them.

Staedtler Relief pens and pencils are very comfortable to use as are the Sanford PHD’s… both are ergonimically designed and have rubberized griping sections. I have one of the Relief pencils and love it.

If you would like to try using a fountain pen the Parker Reflex sells for under 10.00. It is a very comfortable and well balanced pen with a rubberized grip. The nib is very firm and the pen will feel similar to writing with a gel pen.

Strangely enough, I got fairly good doing mirror writing with my left hand - (I was very, very bored in certain classes in HS). But writing left to right was difficult - the slant was wrong, the motions felt odd, the directions of the circles was strange - right to left, it worked.
I see a lot of people write with pens in a death grip. I cannot imagine that it would be comfortable, or easy to write that way.

If you are interested in calligraphy or want to write in the manner of the Declaration of Independence, check out this site:

I think that Michael Sull is the absolute master! His books also contain exercises which show you how to hold the pen and how to move your arms. (You might find these at a public library.)

Greenback said:

Ooooooooooh! I’d give my right arm to be ambidextrous!!!

So you think I was lying in my post just above yours? :confused: