It's a symptom of an age in which people believe they can buy personality at Neimann Marcus or that the acquisition of a flexible (or edged) nib automatically makes one's handwriting better, more interesting, thus proof that the former scribbler is now a person of substance and discernment. No other effort is required. This is canard. With a few notable exceptions, the 'flex writing' I've seen on FPN is wretched, blobby, and undisciplined looking. J. Fred Muggs with a Guanerius del Gesù is not a plug in replacement for Pinchas Zukerman.
I spend about 20 minutes a day on penmanship, and though my handwriting is still nothing to write home about, it is not for lack of effort. (I learned the rudiments of Round Hand before purchasing my first flexible pen.)
While I agree that practice, practice, practice is the key ingrediant, the tools are also important. While my current handwritting is nothing to write home about, the vast improvement in my penmanship IS something to write home about!
Before starting with fountain pens 2-3 years ago, my cursive handwriting elicited either of these responses, "What the £€!?<>?!# does this chicken scratch say!", or "You must be a Doctor." and sometimes both! Now, in my mid forties, for the first time in my life folks are complimenting me on my penmanship! Well, a compliment for me anyway, they say it is "legible", "easy to read". My cursive was so bad that I have written almost exclusively in print or block letter style for over twenty years. Using traveler's checks has been a nightmare, my signature never looks the same way twice.
The difference, the fountain pen and sloped writing surface. The ball point pen does not suit me. I can't write with one. Fountain pens I can, and it seems the more flexible the better! I have some Victorian era pens and holders, some are very long, narrow, high gold content nibs that are like writing with a feather. These are wonderful!!! But I make no effort to flex them, they do so ever so subtly as the nib glides on a layer of ink.
That is why I love the flexible nibs. Folks can actually read what I wrote when I use one!