Thursday, 23 April 2015

How to Improve Your Handwriting // Part 2: Tips and Tricks

I began this series on how to improve your handwriting with a post explaining why you should want to improve it. You can find it here.

Before we begin, I have a little disclaimer for you all. In case you think that when I talk about handwriting, I'm meaning cursive, I'm actually not meaning cursive at all! I can sort of write cursive to an extent, but I'm not very good at it, lol. I am meaning just ordinary handwriting. Printing. You know, when you grab a pen and just write. Hope that cleared up any misunderstanding! 

So now we come to the 'meat' of the subject - how to actually improve our handwriting. I have a bunch of tips, the first one being:

(Let me apologise for the quality of the scanned images in this post. Unfortunately the scanner kept cutting off lots of the letters on the pages I was trying to scan and then it got grumpy with me when I tried to rescan them! Sorry if it makes it annoying for you.)

It is very important that you sit somewhere comfy when you want to write neatly. Ideally at a desk or table, with a comfortable, ergonomic chair. If you want to write neatly and try to improve your handwriting, sitting awkwardly is NOT the best way to begin. Trust me.

The next thing you need to think about is:

Find a pen you love (yeah, that's an F and not a T right at the top there). I dislike all pens that do not have thin nibs. For some reason, thin-nibbed pens make me happy. They are just easier to write with. It might be different for you. Of course, if you are a pencil sort of person your options are a wee bit more limited but it's still important to find a pencil you enjoy using.
The important thing is to find a pen or pencil that you like, then you'll be more excited (hopefully) about putting in long hours practicing writing with it. 

What? Practicing? Oh no! (That sounds too much like hard work.) However, guess what the next tip is.
(Just pretend there's an e on the end of that! Our lovely scanner again.)

Practice. Yeah. I know. I know. Practice? Whoever heard of practicing handwriting (unless you are five years old)?

Unfortunately, practice really does pay off and make perfect, just like the saying says. I know you're busy. Your life is full. But remember all those reasons why you want to improve your handwriting. Hopefully the pros outweigh the cons (namely, the time involved!) for you.

The important thing to remember is that you will only improve your handwriting with practice. That's really the bottom line.

And practice slow. Slow right down. Take time to carefully shape each letter. If you write at twice the speed of lightening, your writing is not going to be very neat no matter how much you practice!

There are some other things that will help you along the way, of course.

Ahh.... correction fluid and rubbers.... such useful inventions. :)

The next thing is probably my most major point.

The little things are sooo important. They can make or break your writing. Pay close attention to them.

A few of the important little things to watch out for are:
- Serifs: if you do them, are they all the same size?
- Where your 'i' and 'j' dots are placed: are they directly above the stick?
- How big are your 'y' and 'g' loops?
- Your sticky-up sort of letters (l, t, h etc): all parallel and going up to the same height?
- Your sticky-down sort of letters (g, y, j, p etc): all parallel and going down to the same depth?
- Your middling sort of letters (n, o, u, m, etc):  all middling sort of heights and not too different in size?
- Sloped writing: if you slope your writing, is it all sloped more or less the same slope? Or does it change drastically part way through?
- Does your writing tend to drift diagonally along the page? Or does it all stay in one long, neat, horizontal line? If it does drift diagonally, practice writing on lined paper.
- Does your writing look 'hurried'? If so, how can you change that? (Write slower and more carefully.)

These are all very important to look out for. It is a good idea to go through your writing after you've practiced and mark it for yourself. Look for the little things. Be super picky. It's only when you realize what you're doing wrong that you can fix it.

The next thing is:

Learn to spell well. Spelling is something that also requires time and practice. But it definitely pays off.
For some reason, people with good spelling often have good handwriting as well, I've noticed. It's weird, and I'm not even sure of all the reasons why that is, but that's just how it is.

Being able to spell well means that instead of spending all your thought on how to spell words, you can think about how your handwriting is looking. You can concentrate on forming beautiful letters. Your mental capacity can be used for other things. :) It's just more convenient.

And being able to spell well means that you don't have to use a dictionary (or even Google) to look up questionable words. It's ever so much easier.

Wondering what the next tip is? It's:

Experiment. Have fun! Go crazy experimenting with different fonts and styles of writing! Handwriting is so much fun because you have so many different options.

Practice with various styles and find one (or more) that you love.

Oh yeah, and when you practice, using phrases like "the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" that use all the letters in the alphabet give you a great opportunity to practice the entire alphabet. :)

And that's it!

Do you write neatly? 
Do you want to write neater? 
What tips and tricks do you have for improving your handwriting?
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  1. Hi Bonnie! I really like this post and the last. They're really helpful, and I love the fancy writing that you do! :)

    1. I'm glad you like them, Ashley! Thanks for commenting. :)

  2. My pleasure Bonnie! I found a great way to practice handwriting! By writing in a journal! I like to do that, so I am practicing on writing better. :)


    1. Yay for journals! Mine is great for not only practicing writing, but putting down my thoughts! Two birds with one stone. Score! :)

    2. Yes! Same here! Hooray for journals! I love them. :)

  3. Your hand writing it seriously so cute! lol. I'm envious. ;) My hand writing isn't the best-but strangely, I can't stand bad hand writing so I re-write it. haha. I'll try working on it a little more...I've never really tried using a different 'font,' though! I'll have to try it. :) Thanks for the tips!

    1. Oh wow, lol, thanks! Haha, I still practice often. I feel like no matter how nice our writing is, it can always be improved!
      Glad you liked the tips, Sarah! Thanks for commenting.


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