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I want to improve my penmanship, but where do I start? I sometimes use all caps —sometimes cursive. Sometimes I use both. 
 

How can I improve my writing when I can’t even stick with one style?

 

Should I first try to find a style before trying to perfect it?
 

 

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arcfide

My recommendation is find one of the handwriting manuals that inspires you, and then work diligently on it, focusing on using your new script all the time, everywhere. Some good ones:

 

  • Michael Sull's American Penmanship
  • Briem's handwriting repair on briem.net
  • Getty-dubay's Write Now
  • New American Cursive's Teach Yourself Cursive
  • Smithhand

 

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On 3/7/2021 at 11:40 PM, arcfide said:

My recommendation is find one of the handwriting manuals that inspires you, and then work diligently on it, focusing on using your new script all the time, everywhere. Some good ones:

 

  • Michael Sull's American Penmanship
  • Briem's handwriting repair on briem.net
  • Getty-dubay's Write Now
  • New American Cursive's Teach Yourself Cursive
  • Smithhand

 

Thank you. I’ll look into those. 

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Paul-in-SF

I have found that the one thing I need to do to improve my handwriting is to slow down. For me this requires discipline, because my hand wants to race along with my thoughts, so I need to think more carefully about what i want to write and then write it at a more controlled tempo. Over the years, I had reverted to printed letters for a lot of my capitals, so I am re-learning those, and I almost need to stop and draw them, to re-train my hand for how it feels to write them that way. 

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AmandaW

I found Rosemary Sassoon's 'Teach Yourself Better Handwriting' to be a good one to begin with because she emphasizes improving the handwriting you already have. Becoming aware of clarity of letterforms and consistency of things like slope and spacing does make a difference. It felt like I was whipping my writing into shape rather than starting over.

 

I then moved to teach myself italic as well (mainly using the Fred Eager book), but building on a nicer base and possibly getting the hang of it more quickly than if starting with my natural chicken-scratch.

It's all about the greys...

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Pointyscratchy

Agree and second above comments and recommends.

 

I notice that I print in capitals.Printing in lowercase I find very difficult, but the end result particularly if the letters have joins-even if you don't join them- looks better.Edit to appears better.

 

Saying it and doing it are two different things unfortunately.

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Karmachanic
12 hours ago, AmandaW said:

I found Rosemary Sassoon's 'Teach Yourself Better Handwriting' to be a good one to begin with because she emphasizes improving the handwriting you already have.

 

Agreed. I have the Sassoon- Briem version: Improve Your Hand-Writing

"Simplicate and add Lightness."

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GoldenArrow

If you really want to make an effort, turn to the Spencerian method of penmanship. There are sets available with the instruction book and practice books for you to write in. It will take time - but if you master it, it will be immensly satisfying.

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loganrah

No advice but just some encouragement: when I first got into fountain pens my cursive was almost unreadable and I would print some letters fairly randomly. I couldn't write proper cursive f, s, x, or r. Now, just a few years later, I get comments on how good my handwriting is from people. It isn't up to the calligraphic standards of some people around here but it is readable and nice enough. I've achieved this by just paying attention to it and focusing on changing the way I write one letter at a time. Next up, cursive capitals. So, even if it seems daunting, stick with it, I'm sure you'll make improvement over time.

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The most basic thing is to be relaxed and write with joy.

Whoever said the pen is mightier than the sword, obviously never encountered automatic weapons." – General D. MacArthur

 

 

“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” W. Churchill

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Greg Miller
On 3/16/2021 at 9:43 AM, GoldenArrow said:

If you really want to make an effort, turn to the Spencerian method of penmanship. There are sets available with the instruction book and practice books for you to write in. It will take time - but if you master it, it will be immensly satisfying.

 

I'll second this one. Spencerian is a beautiful handwriting style.

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Restored
On 3/13/2021 at 3:48 PM, Paul-in-SF said:

I have found that the one thing I need to do to improve my handwriting is to slow down. 

As a person on the Autism Spectrum, I struggle terribly with this. My mind wants my hand to hurry before another story crushes the existing one. I finally bought a 4 foot folding table and placed it perpendicular to my work desk(programmer). I have to force myself to turn the chair to face the table and write instead of just jotting down something quickly. 

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  • 3 weeks later...
amberleadavis

@nick_kWelcome aboard!

My suggestion, start with a phrase or quote and practice writing it over and over. Slow down and think about spacing the letters.  I am a fan of Babylon 5 quotes and I have used them to write cards or letters.  See the post linked below for more on sending letters to strangers.

 

The most important thing is for you to practice every day (I would say for 30 minutes).  It doesn't matter if you just start with printing, just practice. I'm a fan of Michael Sull's book for practice exercises.

 

 

Fountain pens are my preferred COLOR DELIVERY SYSTEM (in part because crayons melt in Las Vegas).



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Check out inks sorted by color: Blue Purple Brown Red Green Dark Green Orange Black Pinks Yellows Blue-Blacks Grey/Gray UVInks Turquoise/Teal MURKY

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femamerica13

As someone who is trying to work on her handwriting just starting off in print, @amberleadavisgave good advice. Slow down and try to keep things lined up where they should be and slow down. Once things have calm down, I am most likely going to go back and learn cursive after 10 years.

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amberleadavis
On 4/30/2021 at 11:42 PM, femamerica13 said:

As someone who is trying to work on her handwriting just starting off in print, @amberleadavisgave good advice. Slow down and try to keep things lined up where they should be and slow down. Once things have calm down, I am most likely going to go back and learn cursive after 10 years.

 

Always glad to hear that I gave good advice!

 

1.  Just do it.  Write.  Find reasons to write if necessary.

2. Slow down, think about forming the letters.  You will see improvement.

Fountain pens are my preferred COLOR DELIVERY SYSTEM (in part because crayons melt in Las Vegas).



Want to get a special letter / gift from me, then create a Ghostly Avatar



Ink comparisons: The Great PPS Comparison 366 Inks in 2016



Check out inks sorted by color: Blue Purple Brown Red Green Dark Green Orange Black Pinks Yellows Blue-Blacks Grey/Gray UVInks Turquoise/Teal MURKY

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Ethelios

As other users say, daily practice is good! Look into posts about downsizing/finishing ink, people suggest lots of ways to keep writing.

Maybe stick to a project that has an end, so it doesn't turn into pointless doodling. A month of journaling? It's June 1st, today's great to start.

Always looking for new ways to downsize my collection.

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  • 2 months later...

Available on Amazon.com

Sulls, "American Cursive"

(Loose leaf pages that you put in a 3 ring binder).

Make copies of the practice sheets so you have more if needed.

Go through the entire course no matter how long it takes. (I took a solid year).

Practice daily on the sheets as guided by the course. Don't miss a day.

Use a pen, pencil, FP, whatever you have. (no pressure).

Additionally write in a journal daily, or add in the course copy pages for longer paragraphs/quotes, etc, for fun if you are in the mood.

Don't think about it too much. This is experiential learning and happens over time by itself with consistent effort.

Get into trying out various affordable pens and inks and paper to keep interest, TWSBI's, etc.

 

Above all, make it fun and interesting. 

 

Hope this is helpful.

k

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  • 4 weeks later...

Thanks, guys. This is exactly the type of recommendation I was looking for. I've written cursive all my life (went to a Catholic boys' private school here), but even in grade school I envied those who could write more clearly and beautifully. Pens and inks are a nice incentive to keep trying (Just turned 50!)

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9 hours ago, AlexItto said:

Thanks, guys. This is exactly the type of recommendation I was looking for. I've written cursive all my life (went to a Catholic boys' private school here), but even in grade school I envied those who could write more clearly and beautifully. Pens and inks are a nice incentive to keep trying (Just turned 50!)

You might have learned Palmer Business Script in Parochial school or some other variant. Regardless, daily practice for one year using the Sull's "American Cursive" (loose leaf folder pages) (put in your own thick 3 ring binder), will help make your script clearer and legible. You do not have to exactly copy the style or change your "hand", it will happen by itself.

Also, if you don't already, corresponding (pen pals) via snail mail also gives more of a reason to write and enjoy writing. You might be very surprised to find the differences in the writing styles of others.

 

Good luck!

 

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RudeBoyEEEE
On 3/13/2021 at 7:36 PM, AmandaW said:

I found Rosemary Sassoon's 'Teach Yourself Better Handwriting' to be a good one to begin with because she emphasizes improving the handwriting you already have. Becoming aware of clarity of letterforms and consistency of things like slope and spacing does make a difference. It felt like I was whipping my writing into shape rather than starting over.

 

I then moved to teach myself italic as well (mainly using the Fred Eager book), but building on a nicer base and possibly getting the hang of it more quickly than if starting with my natural chicken-scratch.

 

Been looking around, even made my own thread in another subforum, and this seems right up my alley. Buying right away, thank you!

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