Are you one of the many people who feel plagued by illegible handwriting? Do you hate writing anything by hand because it’s tedious and barely legible at best? Even though you may have had sloppy handwriting for your entire life, it is not impossible to change that.

In fact, with consistency and practice, you can improve your handwriting with as little as ten minutes of practice a day.

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Good handwriting is a combination of many things. You need to have a comfortable yet steady grip on your writing implement.

Proper posture will help you to write with ease and should not cause any undue strain or muscle fatigue. Once you have your grip and position corrected, pick the correct tools and begin working on proper writing techniques.

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.

An easy way to correctly grip a pencil is called the tripod because it uses the thumb, index, and middle fingers. To get your pencil in this position, lay it directly in front of you with the point facing away from your body.

Pick up the pencil at the lead end using a pinch grab with your thumb and index finger. As you close your hand, it should come to rest lightly on your middle finger.

After you have mastered the correct grip, it is time to work on your posture. Maintaining good posture ensures your body is in alignment to prevent stress on your muscles, joints and ligaments.

Poor posture can strain your body, leading to fatigue, tight or achy muscles in your neck, back, arms and legs, joint stiffness and pain. Part of the proper writing posture is to hold the pencil at an angle to the table.

Keep the bottom of your thumb in line with your forearm, making sure your elbow does not jut out. You should use your arm muscles so that your shoulder stays steady while your wrist and elbow move to create a rhythm.

Your hands should rest fairly heavily on the paper, while keeping your forearms and shoulders relaxed, allowing movement as they write. The writing is formed through the movement of the arms, not the fingers.

Often people with improper technique try to draw the letter with their fingers. A better technique is to allow the fingers to serve more as guides.

Before moving on to writing exercises, make sure you have a good writing surface that is smooth and sturdy. A rough surface will snag your pencil, making it difficult to maintain smooth and flowing writing.

A good investment is a slant board to write on. The angle it creates in your wrist helps to promote better finger movement.

Position your paper correctly for the best results. The top right and bottom left corners of your paper should line up in a straight line with your nose. Use your non-writing arm to hold the paper in place. This paper position helps to create the proper letter slant in your handwriting.

Now it is time to practice some writing drills. Begin with warmups focused on lines and curves. The first drill is to fill up a page with parallel vertical and horizontal lines. Keep the lines the same length and make them straight.

To practice your curves, draw left and right parentheses, “u’s”, and “m’s”. Each set of these characters should fit inside the lines of your paper. This will help you form curves and keep letters the same height as other letters.

After you have spent time working on these basic drills it is time to move on to one with actual writing. A great sentence to practice is “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.” This sentence will give you practice on all of the letters of the alphabet.

These drills should be practiced every day for approximately 10-15 minutes at a time. It is not necessary to practice any longer as that will cause cramping and muscle strain.

If you commit to this practice you should start to see a change in your writing within a few weeks. Before long, your illegible handwriting will be a thing of the past.

Our Top Pick For Improving Your Handwriting

It's easy to have perfect, legible and beautiful handwriting!

Learn More