Schools today are spending less time teaching cursive handwriting, if they even teach it at all because so much of what we write is typed. We don’t send letters anymore, we send emails. We don’t write down our to-do list, we have an app for that on our phones.
We don’t even have to fill out job applications by hand, we do it all online. It’s no wonder that when we do have to put pen to paper we are disappointed by how illegible our writing has become.
One of the key indicators of proper penmanship includes looped letters that are properly size so they do not get tangled in the lines of writing above and below.
It is important to make the size and slant of your letters were consistent. The regularity of each letter joined to the next creates a flow and legibility that one should aim for when writing.
There are many factors that lead to bad handwriting. The first is the fact that we just lack practice because we rely so heavily on our tech devices. This is easily remedied by writing more often. Start by writing notes by hand. Send people handwritten letters.
Many people find that starting a daily journal is a good way to get in the habit of writing a little bit each day.
If you are going to start writing every day, you will need the proper tools. As for paper, it is best to use a good quality that will allow the pen to move smoothly across the page.
If you want to practice writing exercises, there are numerous worksheets available that are lined to work with specific drills. Some include letters that you can trace to help you learn the proper shapes. You’ll also want to invest in some high-quality pens with smooth flowing ink.
Stay away from gel ink and cheap pens that don’t flow easily and smoothly. You want a medium sized shaft the doesn’t require a tight grip which will prevent hand cramping and fatigue.
If your pen and paper are rough and of poor quality, it will cause you to apply more pressure when writing and will make your penmanship look fragmented and sloppy.
As you get into the habit of writing more often, you’ll want to focus on ways to improve your handwriting. Poor technique is another cause of sloppy, hard to read writing. Start by working on your grip. Using a proper grip will give you more control over the appearance of the writing.
Holding your pencil in a relaxed yet tight grip will result in more stability. Too loose or tight of a grip can make your writing less presentable although it may still be legible.
People with sloppy writing tend to be tense in their forearms and shoulders. You want to rest your hands fairly heavily on the paper while keeping your upper body relaxed to allow movement as you write.
Focus on using your arm muscles so that your shoulder stays steady while your wrist and elbow move. This creates a rhythm and cadence that shows in the flow and connectedness of each letter.
Often people with improper technique try to draw the letter with their fingers. Clear writing is formed through movement of the arms, using the fingers only as guides.
Cursive writing is meant to be easy on the hand and is much less tiring than writing in block letter manuscript. Once you have trained yourself to use the correct muscle groups, your writing will have a smooth, legible flow.
It is possible that the cause of your poor writing is dysgraphia which means your inability to write legibly is a result of brain damage or disease that has caused problems with your fine motor skills or visual perception. If you suspect that this is the case, you should seek medical attention.
There are many reasons you may have bad handwriting, but the good news is that most of them are correctable. If you have invested in quality pens and paper, set aside some time to practice writing for at least fifteen minutes a day.
If you write slowly and focus on proper technique and grip, with time you will begin to see a difference in your writing. With enough practice, your handwriting will look professional and elegant.