If you are like most fountain pen users, you would probably like to improve your handwriting. I know from experience how frustrating it can be to scroll through photo after photo of images with beautiful handwriting on Instagram, only to pick up a pen and struggle to write consistently or legibly. While I definitely don’t have the best handwriting around, I have managed to improve it over the years. Fortunately, there are many different ways to improve your handwriting. Unfortunately, there is no shortcut. They all take time, dedication and practice. If you’re in, read on.
Handwriting Lessons and Guides
One of the best ways to improve your handwriting is to learn a new font. By writing in a way that is different from how you currently write, you can ditch some of the bad habits you currently have and work on developing good habits. One of the easiest fonts to learn is italic handwriting. While it might look fairly similar to your current handwriting, it has some characteristics that make it unique, specifically in the lower-case letters. If you look at any of the letters that have round sections (a, p, q, b, g, etc…) or half-round sections (r, m, n, w, u, etc…), you’ll notice that they are less round and more oval-shaped. Here’s a quick writing example that should show how such a simple change can start to make a difference in how your handwriting looks:
Another font that you can easily practice is printing in all capital letters. I started experimenting with this font about a month ago and am really enjoying it so far. While it isn’t an automatic writing style yet, it is starting to feel more comfortable. It really forces me to slow down and concentrate on my writing so I don’t start writing in lower-case letters (which tends to happen from time to time).
What if you’ve never learned cursive and now want to? Take a look at these cursive writing worksheets. They should get you started on the path to writing in cursive. While they might look basic, keep in mind that this is how most people learned how to write in cursive. If you’d prefer a video course, I haven’t taken this one before but have heard good things about it.
If you’re not interested in learning a new style and just want some simple practice or solutions to common problems, this large worksheet has lots of writing prompts that you might find fun. Again, it might seem a little basic, but if you just want to practice writing and don’t know what to write, this is a good place to start.
Printing And Using The Worksheets
To get the most out of these worksheets, you’ll want to print them out and write directly on them. I would highly suggest printing them on fountain pen friendly paper like HP 32lb Premium Laserjet. By using nice paper for practice, you’ll actually get to enjoy using your fountain pens while improving your handwriting at the same time.If you don’t want to print the guides and prefer to write on blank paper, be sure to download some guide sheets or use the one that came with your paper. These go underneath a blank piece of paper and help you write in a straight line. You can also just build your own lined or dot-grid patterns and print them directly onto the paper of your choice.
Focus On Details To Improve Your Handwriting
Learning a new font is one way to improve your handwriting, but you can also bring about big improvements by focusing on the details of your current writing style. One of the reasons most people aren’t happy with their current handwriting is because it is not very uniform and consistent. Fortunately, it is not very difficult to make significant progress in this area.
First, take a look at your letter size and spacing. Unevenly sized and spaced letters can make handwriting seem sloppy and irregular, even if the actual writing itself is good. When you are writing, focus on the size and spacing of your letters and try to make them more even and uniform.Next, look at the individual components of your writing, specifically the lines and loops. Again, if they are not consistent, your writing will not look as good as is possible. To improve in this area, simple drills of lines and loops on a regular basis can make a big difference in how your writing looks.
Practice, Practice, Practice
No matter how much you want your handwriting to improve, it won’t happen without practice. In order to see a considerable improvement, you don’t have to spend a huge amount of time practicing every day, but you should plan on doing some daily practice. If you’re not used to writing for an extended period of time, 10 minutes might be a good amount of time to start with. As your stamina increases, gradually increase the amount of time you spend writing. A good target time is 20-30 minutes of writing per day.
Keep in mind that not all of your writing time has to be spent doing drills and practice. While it is important to do drills on a daily basis, you’ll also want to do some practical writing. That could be writing in a journal, writing to a pen pal or writing passages from books, songs or movies.Another important part of handwriting practice involves your posture. Proper posture helps you have better and more consistent handwriting. What is the proper posture? Ideally, your feet will be flat on the floor and your knees will be bent at a 90-degree angle. You should also be sitting at the back of your chair instead of on the front of it and sitting up straight. This means no practicing your handwriting while sitting in bed or on the couch.
In addition to how you sit, an important part of posture is how your paper is positioned relative to you. You should sit parallel to your table, but your paper should be turned at a 20 to 45-degree angle so that your writing direction moves away from your body.
How you hold your writing arm also matters. You don’t want your arm to be squeezed into your side, but you don’t want it too far from your body either. Your arm position should be close to perpendicular to your paper and not angling in from one side or the other. Ideally, you will also use your arm rather than your wrist and fingers to move the pen. While it may seem odd at first, decreasing the use of your hand and instead using your arm to write will eventually lead to better control and less fatigue.
Finally, when you’re practicing your writing, keep in mind that your goal is to improve. This means that you don’t need to speed through and write at your typical pace. In this case, quality is more important than quantity. Slow down, take your time and focus on what you are writing and how you are writing it. You’ll be amazed at how much better your handwriting can look when you slow down and focus on the shape, size and spacing of your letters.
Hi, my name is John. I’m a Colorado-born professional photographer who recently moved back to Denver after spending 3 years in San Francisco. I’ve been using and collecting fountain pens for over 20 years. I got my first one in college when I got bored taking notes with ballpoints and pencils. Since then I’ve bought and sold hundreds of pens, but have consistency in my love of Esterbrooks.