How to improve your handwriting

Even in our digital age, our handwriting is more than just a form of communication, it forms part of our identity.

Having good handwriting is super useful for writing letters and cards and filling out necessary paperwork. If you wish to improve your handwriting, don’t worry! There are plenty of techniques to use to make your handwriting more legible, and aesthetically pleasing.

Handwriting, even in our ever increasingly digital age, is more than just a form of communication. Our handwriting forms part of our identity; you can always tell if something is written by you or someone else.

How to improve your handwriting

There are three things you need to keep in mind when you are trying to improve your handwriting: slow down, be consistent in your letterforms, and practice.

When we slow down, we become more mindful of putting pen to paper- which causes us to pay more attention to being consistent in our letterforms. Of course, there’s no substitute for practice, whether you do handwriting drills, or journaling, or just writing a daily to-do list.

A stable platform, such as a desk or table, will help you achieve neater, more consistent handwriting than any other surface, such as on your knee in front of the t.v. Your pen will sometimes affect how you write, a fountain pen can yield a different style than a ballpoint, or a gel. It’s also important to remember that the flowier the ink, the harder it is to control the letterforms.

The way you hold your pen can sometimes affect how you write. To write well, you need a firm, controlled grip. You aren’t trying to choke it. Your wrist should be loose, and your elbow should be used as your anchor point. Moving from the wrist will sooner or later cause hand fatigue and cramping, so keep it loose, and your shoulders relaxed.

To practice, start with writing in big bold letters like we did when we were learning our letters. You can even use crayons or markers if you want to. Practising huge letterforms can help us reform our letters, and retrain your muscles for writing on a reduced scale. Keep your writing samples and date them so that you can track your progress.

Remember it’s not about being flawless but improving your handwriting. Be compassionate to yourself, particularly when you’re first starting out.

Practice Ideas To Improve Your Handwriting

  • Start a bullet journal, or other analogue planner/diary.
  • Start a journal, write in it every day.
  • Quotes: Start a collection of your favourite funny or noteworthy quotes
  • Song lyrics: Write out the words to your favourite song, or write out a list of your favourite lines or verses from your favourite songs
  • Pangrams: You’re probably familiar with “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog”, but there’s actually a whole bunch of pangrams, which are sentences that use all the letters of the alphabet.
  • Crosswords: See if you can make your crossword puzzle the tidiest it’s ever been.
  • Forms: next time you’re completing a form, like at the doctors, or hairdressers, instead of hurrying it along, use it as an opportunity to practice.
  • School handwriting workbooks: These are often inexpensive and can be brought at bookshops and on Amazon. If you’re in Australia and probably other countries as well, you can search your state’s school curriculum and find worksheets online for free.
  • Every day lists: Whether you write your shopping list, to do list or some other list, there’s always something beautiful about having a legible list.
  • Snail mail: Start writing letters to your friends and family, focus on taking your time, and being consistent with your letterforms. You could start with a short and sweet thank you note.
  • Random practice: Find a book or magazine, or anything that has text on it, turn to a random page, shut your eyes and aim at a paragraph. Write it out for practice. You could go digital with this and use Google’s “I’m feeling lucky” button, or a random article on Wikipedia, or you could write out a passage from a website in your browser history.

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