What can I do to improve my handwriting?

I have really bad, terrible handwriting. It looks like it should belong to a 5th grader. It’s not particularly hard to read, but messy and sloppy and inconsistent. It really does look like a child wrote it. I’m always slightly embarrassed when I have to fill out a form or something.

What can I do to improve it? Someone once told me that my mistake is that I’m trying to write with my fingers, as opposed to my whole arm, but when I try to write with my whole arm I just get bigger messy characters.

Start over. Find a good primer, and go back to learning your ABCs. That, or take up calligraphy, and learn the letter forms inside and out.

Also, try writing slower.

Print. The only thing I use my terrible cursive for is my signature. If I want to, I can actually print in teeny tiny little letters - good for notes in margins, or composing novellas on postit notes.

As the above posters said, print and write slower. My handwriting was horrible up until I was about a sophomore/junior in college. I’m pretty sure it was my intro to electrical engineering class that I decided I had enough. I couldn’t tell the difference between my 1 and l, my ; and i, my t and +, and the worst, my 8 and my g. I just decided that I’d take the time to fix my writing, and slowly and carefully wrote everything from then on out. It’s still not awesome, but it’s very legible and can almost be considered neat. There is a -huge- difference in my handwriting when I scribble a quick note and when I’m taking my time on an important form. I retrained my muscle memory, though, so my moderately quick writing is now legible. Once your hand knows what it’s supposed to be doing, it will help you out pretty consistently.