I’ve never liked my handwriting. It’s boring. It’s not quirky or creative-looking. It’s just dull and totally inconsistent. It’s almost as if my handwriting has a split personality; sometimes it slants, sometimes it doesn’t. I join up some letters and not others. Often when I am writing quickly it’s quite scribbly and hard to read. Both professionally (as a teacher) and creatively (iMake stuff), my handwriting does not seem to  do what I want it to.  I want it to be beautiful, readable and, well, “me”.

As a child I was obsessed with hand-lettering but oddly enough I did not seem to make a connection between this creative activity (the cover of my rough book was filled with bubble writing) and writing my school work (a bit of a mess). I can even remember attending calligraphy club in my lunch hours when I was at grammar school.

But back to my personal handwriting. I have decided to try and re-train my hand. I cannot remember learning cursive or joined-up writing at school so I think I might start there. Then I am going to try and remember what I learned about calligraphy. Watch this space for progress.

Has anyone else ever thought about improving their handwriting? Or do you think that handwriting is obsolete in the digital age? Does anyone have any tips?


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25 responses to “Handwriting

  1. It’s funny you say about writing in the digital age. I had to write a letter to my son’s school recently as he was going to miss a few days for a family funeral, and it was the first time I’d written more than a couple of words at a time in years! My hand really ached afterwards!

    On the cursive writing thing, I’ve also found it interesting to see that his school teaches cursive from the beginning. He doesn’t join the letters yet, but he’s learned every letter with flicks at the beginning and end, ready to join together.


    • Hi Rhian

      Yes – it is interesting that schools teach it from the start now isn’t it? One of my colleagues’ daughters is just learning to write and I was amazed to see all those little flicks!



  2. I remember working really hard on making my handwriting something that represented ‘me’ in my teens. Ironically, it’s ended up being mixture of others': one person’s ‘h’, a ‘z’ that I learnt as a child at school in Spain, my dad’s tendency to write exclusively in majuscule… It took me over five years to develop something that stuck and I can still produce consistently over ten years later.

    It’ll take a lot of work to come up with a a style that comes naturally to you every time you go to write something, so remember to experiment lots. Also, try the widest range possible of writing implements! I love fountain pens, but my handwriting looks its best when I pick up a pencil or ballpoint pen!

    Good luck!


  3. i tried for a year or so…it didn’t take. It was when I first started scrapbooking and wanted to be able to journal neatly. I gave up and now I just print from my computer onto clear labels/stickers.


  4. Agree re handwriting! Mine is more and more scrawly, because I’m either typing and not using it or writing small notes in a hurry. Last winter I bought a nice fountain pen to write diary entries with each evening, but I need more practice. Penmanship practice workbooks would be a great idea…here did you find those in your blog photo?


    • I think I am going to get my fountain pen out! The notepad is a Moleskin (love them) and I just downloaded a few alphabets off the internet. I am having fun!


  5. I don’t have any tips, just a call for you to share anything that works for you. My handwriting is awful and barely legible. It’s because I learnt to touch type when I was 16, they taught us at school during our A’Level years. I then went on to do a secretarial course which built on my typing speed. My typing speed is so much faster than my writing speed. My writing never keeps up with my brain so it always looks scrawly. Typing is much more in sync with me brain speed. I have to fill DWP forms etc in by hand and I can barely read it. I dread to think how anyone else manages!


  6. It’s interesting you should write this. I’ve thought recently I need to rediscover my handwriting which has degenerated over the years. As a teenager I deliberately set out to copy the beautiful handwriting of some American friends of my parents – I deliberately chose a handwriting style & set out to achieve it. It used to be beautiful. It isn’t now! Maybe I need to rediscover mine too! Look forward to reading more about how you go about it. 😄


  7. This post really struck a chord with me. I struggle to maintain a handwriting style that is both neat and legible. As I look over my recipe book (handwritten) there has been at least 6 regenerations. I’m 50 now and would so love to be able to write in a beautiful style. I’m really looking forward to seeing your progress.


  8. Oh, I like your hand writing! I think mine is terrible but I would like to improve it. I work with some people who have beautiful writing, even when taking something as mundane as meeting notes.

    I’m learning Japanese and trying to make my script look more beautiful too. Strangely, I think I can spot when a Japanese person has handwritten something in Roman script. Their Western style writing looks different too, not sure if it’s the way Japanese school kids are taught or a connection with the Japanese writing system. Maybe practising Japanese will improve my English hand writing!


    • Hi Tony, I am going to try and use every but of writing as practice – even my shopping list! Interesting what you say about Japanese writing – I’d love to see some of your script :-)


  9. Handwritings are changeable … I know this because I DO NOT have one handwriting. My handwritings look similar to one another but I have many … I would love to be able to find one that I just love and want to keep and able to keep it … alas, never happens. But I’ve read somewhere that you can train yourself if you want to. It’s just like anything else … takes a bit of time and patience and persistence but it’s doable. I’m looking to find a way to do do that, too. :)


    • I’m exactly the same – it only really bothers me because it can be hard to read and I have to write a fair bit of feedback as a teacher. I’m also a fan of consistency :-) Thanks for commenting.


  10. Hi All
    I’ve just found your site and got interested in this post. I’ve been studying calligraphy for a few years, and this of course has improved my writing style immensely. All I can say is: practice.
    Practice the rhythm of writing. Do sheets of equal round shapes with equal spacing. Practice ascenders and descenders and repeat the same letters over and over again going through the whole alphabet, group by group: oc apbdqg unmhr iljft vwy k s z. Also write out different sentences as well in between practice sheets.
    Someone once said, writing (calligraphy) is a bit like dancing. You need to practice the steps and the different movements before you can take the floor in confidence. Don’t hesitate. It all comes down rhythm and pace.
    Hope this makes some sense?
    I have actually thought about setting up some kind of calligraphy course here in Guernsey. I don’t know whether anybody would be interested?


  11. Try Postcrossing! You can use the postcards you send to improve your calligraphy in small doses… plus your mailbox gets filled with postcards from random people, with their quirky handwritings :) I quite like to see what handwritings look like around the world – though mine is a bit rubbish!


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