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Best Way To Fix Bad Handwriting?

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#1 tarheel1



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Posted 20 September 2009 - 00:20

I have atrocious handwriting. How does one fix 25 years of bad practice? Should I start with a fountain pen or roller ball?
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#2 samuel07



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Posted 20 September 2009 - 01:18

I have heard a pencil is a great way to start.

#3 Gran


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Posted 20 September 2009 - 01:21

Tarheel, it can be fixed!

This link is to the "pinned" section of references, at the top of the Penmanship section of FPN:


I particularly like the Iampeth site.

There is a goodly amount of useful reference material, including penmanship manuals.

If you're interested, you could see what appeals to you.

There are many styles and approaches.

All the best to you.

Edited by Gran, 20 September 2009 - 01:23.

May you have pens you enjoy, with plenty of paper and ink. :)

Please use only my FPN name "Gran" in your posts. Thanks very much!

#4 encephalartos



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Posted 20 September 2009 - 01:24

I liked the book Write Now! for italic practice.
Really improved the legibility. Practice a lot.

#5 HDoug


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Posted 20 September 2009 - 01:39

I have been "fixing my handwriting" for a few years now. I do want to point out that there is satisfaction -- fun, even -- in the fixing process.


#6 Bill Broome

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Posted 28 September 2009 - 19:18

I've been trying to re-train my handwriting for several years too, off and on, with some success. Trying calligraphy helped, but it takes supplies and equipment.

The penmanship improvement stuff in this forum are even more helpful and quicker.

One thing I would say that others have said is, slow down. Slow your hand down as you form the letters. The ones you already make well will be better right away.

Another suggestion is trying to write using your entire arm and shoulder rather than just your hand. An easy way to feel that and practice it is to hold the pen with the rear resting in the web between thumb and forefinger, and the thumb moved up above the knuckle of your index finger. This moves the "pinch pressure" from thumb and first two fingers, primarily to the first two fingers. The only way to hold the pen then is to move your whole arm.

Note that you will write larger as you move your whole arm. As you get better at it, you can form smaller letters.

#7 FrankB


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Posted 28 September 2009 - 21:06

I am sure many of the regular contributors here are rather tired of hearing my story, but here it is again for your thread. I learned Peterson Penmanship in school. It is all but identical to Palmer Method. I never mastered it. Even into my mid-20's my handwriting looked like an eight year old's. In my mid 20's I was introduced to cursive italic script. That writing style suited my hand, and I learned it rather well.

Hence, I would say a good first step to improving penmanship is to find a writing style that you feel you can reproduce competently. Many people are gravitating toward italic hands because they are very close to printing and seem easier to write than cursive styles. But you must judge the choice for yourself.

Although I learned an italic script, I learned it with a regular ball nibs. I did not get a real italic nib until almost 15 years later. Since my second weapon of choice is a pencil, I practiced the style with pencil as well. So your mode of writing is based on your own preferences. I would say to use a FP or pencil because with them I can form letters more easily, literally drawing them or painting them, especially with the flow of liquid ink from a FP. I cannot do that kind of practice with BP's or rollers. But that is my eccentricity.

Another suggestion for handwriting improvement is to s-l-o-w down and draw your letters. Build up muscle memory in letter formation before you try writing at full speed. I received that advice from a friend, and practiced it. It is so simple, yet so very effective. Drawing my letters added to my competency, but also added to the fun of writing. I could consider writing an aesthetic art, which it is.

Good luck. What you are seeking to accomplish can be done. Many of us here have done it.

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