It isn’t easy to always have proper, easy to read handwriting. Some people naturally have the coordination of rhythm and form that leads to elegant writing. Others have to write slowly and deliberately just to have barely legible penmanship.

The standard of proper handwriting is often said to be the Palmer Method of penmanship.  In the late 19th and early 20th centuries Austin Palmer developed and promoted this style. It is based upon a simplified version of script writing that dated back to the 1840’s, called Spencerian Script.

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Palmer popularized his techniques with the book Palmer’s Guide to Business Writing, published in 1894. This method is based upon the foundation of freedom of movement while writing.

Then, through a repetition of specific writing drills, the movement becomes a habit, resulting in handwriting that that is legible, quick, easy, and enduring.

The Palmer method is favored for its plainness and speed.  With fewer loops and flourishes it is both easier to write and read than its predecessor, the Spencerian Script. This made it the primary choice for penmanship styles taught in schools, leading to its current popularity.

Some of the key indicators of proper penmanship include looped letters that are properly sized 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 consistent.

The regularity of each letter joined to the next creates a flow and legibility that one should aim for when writing.

If you find that your writing is irregular, misshapen, and just generally hard to read, the good news is that you can retrain yourself to have better handwriting by learning proper technique. It takes time to retrain your brain and writing muscles to learn new habits.

If you are patient and determined, you can learn the best way to hold your hand and arm while writing so that it’s easier for you to write, which helps you to naturally improve your penmanship.

People with neat writing tend to rest their hands fairly heavily on the paper, but their forearms and shoulders are relaxed, allowing movement as they write. This creates a rhythm and cadence that shows in the flow and connectedness of each letter.

The writing is formed through the movement of the arms, not the fingers. Often people with improper technique try to draw the letters with their fingers. A better technique is to allow the fingers to serve more 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.

Learning how to use your arm muscles so that your shoulder stays steady while your wrist and elbow move to create a rhythm for writing is only the beginning of proper handwriting. From there you must work on your posture as well as correct pen holding.

Even your eyes are involved as they have to follow what your hand is doing. With handwriting, your body and mind need to do many different things all together and in the right order.

Of course, you do need the proper tools to make all your practicing easier. If you are serious about committing to changing your handwriting, you should invest in high-quality pens with smooth flowing ink.

Stay away from cheap pens with gel ink that doesn’t flow easily and smoothly which requires you to apply more pressure when writing. You want a medium sized shaft the doesn’t require a tight grip which will prevent hand cramping and fatigue.

Writing is a complicated process, involving your arms, fingers, back, eyes and brain. With everything that goes into proper handwriting, it may seem an impossible goal to master. It only takes as little as twenty minutes of practice a day, and you will find that it is possible to learn proper handwriting.

As with everything in life, the key to success is improving your penmanship is consistency. Set aside time each day to practice your handwriting. There are many drills and exercises online that you can use for practice.

Other options include writing in a paper journal instead of taking notes electronically, write out your to-do list instead of typing it, or send a hand written note instead of an email. Remember that everything we do electronically was once written out by hand.

Our Top Pick For Improving Your Handwriting

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

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