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Like most of us these days, do you feel like your handwriting has deteriorated? With computers and especially smartphones being the main method of communication, the opportunity to use handwriting is not quite as often as it used to be. That being said, writing, pens and paper are very popular right now so perhaps some of us are getting more practice.
With smartphones making handwriting redundant, you may be wondering if improving your handwriting is even worth it. Of course, it is! A personalized note or handwritten card is so much more special than any text or email could ever hope to be. Many of us still write grocery lists by hand and addressing an envelope is still usually done by hand.
According to Cherrell Avery, a former calligrapher-in-residence at the Royal Victoria and Albert Museum, who teaches adults to improve their handwriting, she explains that her students often have the same reason for wanting to improve their handwriting. In fact, they often wish to relearn handwriting so they can develop a new version that more closely reflects their own style and personality. It’s a much more rewarding experience sending a handwritten note or card with writing you can be proud of.
Here are 10 tips that can help you to improve your writing
You don’t have to sit at a desk or table but it certainly does help your handwriting. It is suggested that sitting with your legs uncrossed, a straight back and feet flat on the floor will make for a more successful writing experience. Added-in to a good posture is resting your forearm on the table so that your arm is what moves your fingers as you write rather than your wrist.
Rushing or not taking the time to write can detract from achieving good handwriting. If you’re in a rush, find a time when you aren’t in a rush. Forming letters by hand that look as good as you want takes time.
Take out a sheet of lined paper and write down the alphabet. Then write the alphabet again but this time focus on joining every letter. Now take a look at which letters you have written well and which ones you have more difficulty with. Some letters may not be properly formed. Now underline or circle the letters you would like to improve and work on them. Also, take note of the slope of your handwriting. Does it slope forwards or backwards? Generally, good handwriting slopes slightly forward in order to lead the reader’s eye.
You can also check your handwriting for height. Your letters should be the correct height when compared to each other. Wrong heights make it far more difficult to read. If you practice writing each letter and checking for height, your writing will improve.
Your teacher in school may have told you off for doodling but in the last couple of decades, we have come to realize the benefits of doodling. According to a Harvard study, participants who doodled while listening to a boring voicemail recalled 29% more details than the participants who only listened. Not only does doodling improve your memory, but it can also help to improve your writing style by exercising the use of your hand and eye coordination. It also helps you move your pen across paper more easily. An added bonus is that doodling is also very relaxing.
If there is a style you particularly enjoy, a good suggestion is to get some tracing paper and copy it. Imitating the style of handwriting can help you improve your own by absorbing particular aspects of the writing you admire into your own style.
There is no better way to improve your writing than through practice. That’s why we recommend journaling. If you make a point of journaling every day at the same time, you have a better chance of establishing journaling as a habit and therefore getting the practice which will help to improve your handwriting.
Before you become too concerned about the way you write, take a look at the pen you are using to practice. Often a pen with a thicker barrel will help. This will help you have more control over your writing by opening your hand encouraging you to loosen what could be a tense grip. Trying different pens until you find the right one that works for you may take some time but is certainly worth it if you want to improve your writing. Of course, at Paper Papier we can help you with your choice of pen.
Just as much as your pen is important in the improvement of your writing, so is the paper you use. If you are using lined paper, it is helpful if the lines are overly close together. Writing larger than normal can help to improve writing rather than smaller writing. Writing smaller can happen when necessary or if you’ve managed to improve your writing. A smooth paper can make your pen slide more easily across the page, making writing easier. Also, using a thick pad or journal can make it harder to write well.
Like when you learn anything new, you can plateau or even go backwards. Your writing may even look worse before it looks better and even your spelling can be affected. Allow the artistic side of your brain to take over and don’t worry about some setbacks. With practice, your writing will improve.
Whether it’s paper, journals, pens, ink, notecards or greeting cards we have what you need to put some pen to paper and start to write!