For those of just tuning in, I've been into pens for about exactly a year now. I got started when I found out I could go back to school (for freesies!) and figured some nice pens and stationery would make the job of note-taking in class easier, and I wasn't wrong.
Anyway, I first started learning to write cursive in grade three in Catholic school and I was awful at it. Absolutely awful. If I had a dollar for every time I'd been literally screamed at about my handwriting by my mother and my teachers, I would have not have to be going back to school today. In fact, I was told I would never amount to anything, and would certainly never be able to get a job in IT, because I had trouble with handwriting, long division, and memorising multiplication tables. (Incidentally, these fights, after which my mother and I wouldn't speak to each other for several days, are a big reason why I initially broke off all contact with that part of my family in the late 1990s, and did so permanently in 2003. I mention this because I'm guessing a lot of other people have had similar experiences, but I digress).
Around grade 10, I finally gave up, ditched cursive, and just wrote in block print and have done so to this day. My block printing is nice and readable, except for two things: One, I can't write more than a few lines before my hand cramps up. Two, once that happens, and especially if I'm trying to write fast, my handwriting degenerates to an illegible scrawl. About a month ago, though, I picked up Michael Sull's book on American cursive handwriting. I started doing the drills and very quickly realised the problem: Writing with just fingers is hard. Nobody can do it for more than a short time without hand cramps. However, writing with the help of the wrist, forearm, and shoulder muscles is much easier.
Ay, there's the rub.
So, here I am re-learning how to write. I'm still very new so I won't be posting my cursive handwriting anytime soon, doubly so since I've developed so many bad habits around writing using only my fingers that will likely take a great deal of blood, sweat, and tears to break. Once I get comfortable enough with cursive to start using it as my daily handwriting again, I want to graduate to some ornamental penmanship and maybe even calligraphy.
Does this struggle sound familiar to anyone? And why in the eff don't they teach arm muscle use in school?!?