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Hello Fountain Pen Network!

 

As I mentioned in the title I am a journalist who is moving on to college in the fall. As a journalist, it is very important for me to be able to handwrite quickly, accurately and legibly. But unfortunately up to this point I have struggled with this endeavor because my handwriting is so terrible. I can usually read it, but for others it is typically borderline illegible. Below I have attached a sample of my writing so you can see just how bad it actually is. What's worse is that my handwriting is bad in both print and cursive. I'm pretty sure I'm applying to much pressure with my grip and on the paper but I'm not sure what else I really do wrong. What do you guys recommend I do to improve my hieroglyphics/chicken scratch into something that is legible and pretty?

 

I have also been looking into some different pens and notebooks to buy for classes in the fall. In high school, I used whatever pen I could find to write in my beloved Moleskine or the four plastic covered Mead Five Star Wide Ruled notebooks in my bag. For college, I would like to step it up a bit so I have been looking at some different pens, namely the Uni-Ball Signos and the Pilot Metropolitan, and also some different notebooks like the Rhodia Wirebound A4 and the line Maruman Mnuemosyne in A4 and B5. What do you guys think of these choices, especially considering I am a poor college student? For the pen should I be using a fine, medium or bold tip? Will a fountain pen make my handwriting better? Any pens and/or notebooks you guys would recommend for my stated goals?

post-130666-0-83289100-1466661279_thumb.jpg

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Uni ball signo won't last 3 weeks of college tier note taking.

 

My recommendation is to get a pencil pack and use that

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PaganArcher

While not in college, I am taking weekly classes to become a gothi. In that sense, I use a lined B5 Maruman and an A5 Leuchtturm in dot grid. Both are solid choices in my book.

 

Sadly, a fountain pen can't mystically make your handwriting more legible, but they can make writing easier. I'd suggest a Pilot Metropolitan in medium or a Nemosine Singularity in fine. Both are in the $ 15 range, but the Nemosine uses standard international cartridges. Not as economical as bottled ink, but convenience has a price that we must pay.

 

But the key is practice. Get a rollerball like a Pilot G2 and practice, practice, practice. Penmanship is a skill that must be honed and trained just like any other.

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:W2FPN:

 

Hi,

 

Even though I am one of the last people to be giving advice on handwriting, from your sample my observation is that your writing suffers from what I call 'tyranny of the page'.

 

As an exercise kindly consider trying a blank sheet of half a Letter-size, (to emulate a wee notebook), then write/print at will. Leave wide margins - sometimes only a few words fit onto a row. Try using a notebook in the landscape orientation. Avoid writing in the gutter (the curved portion near the binding.)

 

I believe that will let you write in your natural hand which should be fast and comfortable; and will add breathing space between rows so overall legibility will increase.

 

​IMHO we read by recognizing the pattern of shapes that compose a word, rather than letter-by-letter, so while making an effort to shape letters well is a very good thing, making the word look right is more important (and lets the reader read through spelling errers. My older pens are without SpellCheck.)

 

Envision your pen slipping across the page: leaving an inky trial in its wake, rather than ploughing a furrow.

 

This Topic may also be helpful as it includes several Member's ideas & suggestions about pens and then some, Tips for Writing for Long Periods of Time https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/topic/293895-tips-for-writing-for-long-periods-of-time/?p=3410383

 

Bye,

S1

 

__ __

 

Just so anyone can poke fun, (even though I don't live in a glass house), here's a typical sample of my handwriting, which shows uppercase printed label at the top, then things go downhill. :)

http://i783.photobucket.com/albums/yy116/Sandy1-1/FPN_2012/Ink%20Review%20-%20Herbin%20Bleu%20Nuit/9f74bec9.jpg

Edited by Sandy1

The only time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire.

 

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If I remeber correctly, Nemosine pens come with a converter in the box? Can also take a standard converter. Thus bottled ink is very much within the scope of our poor college student. Personally, for daily notes, would recommend a good black, say Waterman's or Aurora.

 

Best of luck,

Yours,
Randal

From a person's actions, we may infer attitudes, beliefs, --- and values. We do not know these characteristics outright. The human dichotomies of trust and distrust, honor and duplicity, love and hate --- all depend on internal states we cannot directly experience. Isn't this what adds zest to our life?

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Thanks for the responses! I looked it up and I saw that both the Pilot Metropolitan and the Nemosine Singularity come with both a cartridge and a converter. I would not be averse to buying ink if it was more economical than the gel pens. @sciumbasci said that the Signos would not last for more than three weeks but if I buy a box of 12 then that's 36 weeks or 252 days which is way more than both semesters. Unless he/she was saying the pack would last three weeks, then I would be wrong.

 

Aesthetically I am attached to the Pilot Metropolitan because I have seen it in use and the handwriting it produces is awesome. Also, IMHO the barrel looks better on the Metropolitan. But if the Singularity is that much better than I'll go with that.

 

I think I prefer blue ink to black so what would you guys think of getting the Metropolitan and a bottle of Waterman Serenity Blue? Would that be more cost efficient one or two twelve packs of Uni-ball Signo RT 0.38? I've heard elsewhere that the fine nib on the Metropolitan is awesome but @PaganArcher said I should get it in the medium. Anyone care to comment with a second opinion?

 

Do you guys think the B5 Maruman is big enough for college note taking?

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Think it's 3 weeks per pen. I burned through mine so quickly that I felt like wasting the 3 they charged me for it

 

Have you ever written with a fountain pen before? It could be worth to try one and go through step by step, starting with the Pilot VPen, which is disposable but in all regards a real fountain pen, and then, if you like it, but a real pen

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Thanks for the responses! I looked it up and I saw that both the Pilot Metropolitan and the Nemosine Singularity come with both a cartridge and a converter. I would not be averse to buying ink if it was more economical than the gel pens. @sciumbasci said that the Signos would not last for more than three weeks but if I buy a box of 12 then that's 36 weeks or 252 days which is way more than both semesters. Unless he/she was saying the pack would last three weeks, then I would be wrong.

 

Aesthetically I am attached to the Pilot Metropolitan because I have seen it in use and the handwriting it produces is awesome. Also, IMHO the barrel looks better on the Metropolitan. But if the Singularity is that much better than I'll go with that.

 

I think I prefer blue ink to black so what would you guys think of getting the Metropolitan and a bottle of Waterman Serenity Blue? Would that be more cost efficient one or two twelve packs of Uni-ball Signo RT 0.38? I've heard elsewhere that the fine nib on the Metropolitan is awesome but @PaganArcher said I should get it in the medium. Anyone care to comment with a second opinion?

 

Do you guys think the B5 Maruman is big enough for college note taking?

 

 

Bottle ink IS more economical than cartridge ink. BUT you have to fill the pen from the bottle. Not as simple as simply changing cartridges.

 

"...the handwriting it produces is awesome"

This is a function of the person writing, NOT the pen. That person could make the writing from a #2 pencil look good.

Do not confuse the pen with the skill to use the pen. A $10,000 set of custom golf clubs won't take me from hacking down to par level golf.

If you want good handwriting, you have to put in the effort. The major thing is muscle memory. Your muscles have to be trained to write smoothly, and that takes constant repetition, until the muscles can do it without effort. And one thing to learn is to relax, grip the pen lightly and do NOT press down on the pen with anything more than light pressure. With the arm and hand muscles relaxed, it is easier to write nicely.

 

Clear mono-line italic or block printing are much easier and faster to learn than cursive script. So that would be the first thing I would tackle, so that you have a decent italic/printing hand quickly. Then later deal with the harder to learn cursive.

 

A word of advice, in my experience, "speed kills." The faster I write cursive, the worse my handwriting gets, to point of being illegible. But I also do not mean that you should write SLOW. I found that in writing, there is a certain minimum speed that the strokes of a letter have to be written at. Any slower and the stroke is no longer a stroke but a shaky drawn line. That minimum speed is individual, and you will have to find what YOUR minimum speed is. When I write in my journal, my writing speed might be called "leasurely." In fact when I want to write fast and still be able to read my handwriting, I will often switch over to printing.

 

Many blues are good. For some reason, people ignore Sheaffer and Parker inks. But I have tried Sheaffer blue, and it is a nice blue. Parker blue on the other hand is more faded and washed out looking. But that may simply be because the ink (and the color) is absorbing into the paper that I am using. Both Sheaffer and Parker inks are cheaper than Waterman, at least when I last priced them.

San Francisco Pen Show - August 28-30, 2020 - Redwood City, California

www.SFPenShow.com

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Out of interest, do you have a clear view on what you want your letters to look like ideally? If you had all the time in the world, would you be able to draw (for instance) your 'p' to perfection? Or your 't', or 'm'?

 

This might be a good starting point.

 

HTH

~ Alexander

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The best advice I can give is to invest time into improving your handwriting.

 

It sounds silly, but sit down in quiet place with a lined legal pad or your favorite notebook and a wet bold pen (gel or fountain, so long as it's a pen you don't have to fight) and write out the letters, one letter per line. So, you'd have a line of A's, B's, etc. Write slowly, until the letter looks the way you want it to, then go to the next one. Then write out simple words. Then, progress to transcribing paragraphs from books. Write slowly until you're satisfied with the quality, then speed up as the letters turn out the way they're supposed to.

 

As you invest time, you'll notice that you'll be happier with your writing.

 

As far as pens and notebooks go, just focus on getting ones that work reliably and that you don't have to fight. Working to get the pen started and writing the letter three or four times really messes up your thought flow.

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wintercriss

I noticed that my handwriting looks uglier with thicker pens (both handle and point size) and also pens that doesn't allow for fast writing (gel and ink). Perhaps you might want to first find a pen which you're comfortable with to write "lots and lots" with while your handwriting remains satisfactory then practice on the writing style.

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I used to have dreadful handwriting. The sort that had my assignments handed back to me with zeros (and typing up math sets is a pain).

 

First, try to figure out what sort of handwriting is most achievable for you. For me, it's a monoline Spencerian script, because my handwriting likes to be spiky, connected, and quite slanted. Looking at your handwriting, I'm thinking French style cursive. It's got some similar shapes and neither slants. Handwriting without tears is also unslanted, but less attractive. When your handwriting veers towards illegibility, it seems to result from spacing issues rather than letter formation, so cursive should help (though many in our generation lack practice at reading cursive, so it can look intimidating until you get used to it).

 

Next, find a workbook. Doesn't matter all that much which one as long as it's the style you want to learn, and practice it. Often. Some will have you making the same basic shapes over and over again, others will have you focusing on practicing the letters. The important thing is simply to keep at it.

 

As for the pen: don't stress about it. A fountain pen won't do magic. Do use something that won't require much pressure. So, a rollerball, gel pen, or fountain pen. If you think you could use grip help, there are fountain pens that do that. Lamy Safari is one. The Pilot Penmanship is great for handwriting practice because the grip helps you stay on track and the xf nib keeps you focused.

Edited by celesul
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Erik Dalton

I just saw a Goulet Pen video. They now stock a writing lesson book called "Cursive Logic". My handwriting is terrible and I've just ordered one of these to get me in good practice.

 

Pilot Metropolitan fine nibs are really fine and can be scratchy. Asian Medium nibs equate to European Fine. I think you'll be happier with the medium nib.

Another alternative is a TWISBI. They are piston fillers and hold a ton of ink.

For ink I would try Pilot Blue Black. It's cheap, waterproof, and won't smear on you.

Most fountain pen inks are not waterproof. If you spill water on your notes, your writing will actually disappear depending on the ink you use. This is especially true of Waterman Serenity blue.

You can buy Ink samples from Goulet pen and some others. Get a lot of different inks for less than a full bottle. It's easy to go broke buying bottles of ink you want to try. Then you end up like most of us with shoe boxes full of bottles of ink we rarely use..

There are notebooks at staples, target and such, that are cheap and fountain pen friendly. Check the threads here for fountain pen friendly papers and notebooks. You are far from the first student that has come on here with the very same concerns. There is lots of info here.

Also check YouTube there are thousands of turorial videos of nearly every pen imaginable, inks, pen maintenance, the list goes on.

Welcome to the group. Do your research and don't be afraid to come back with more questions. Good luck, and have fun..

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