Penmanship is a fading art. The printers and computer started the massacre and now cell phones are here to finish the job. The school days were torture for few students like me, for we were severely reprimanded for our messy work. This hasn’t changed since and now we regret it sometimes. Those with clean and lovely handwriting will never understand our dilemma. The art of writing is a basic representation men can have; it is rudimentary and uses basic skills. Now when we are judged on basic of our messy work, aren’t we at disadvantage? Don’t we feel let down by the look of our exam papers, don’t we wonder that a better handwriting might have added a couple of more marks. Restarting the process is tedious, so what do we do? Well here are 10 lovely ways to beat the mess. Follow it and see the magic. Make sure that all the points are followed for they interconnect and hey, better late than never right?
Lastly, persistence is the key here. Keep practicing. Make sure to use pen and paper as much as you can. In the era of Laptops writing isn’t as important a necessity as it was before. So make conscious efforts of using a paper and pen. Check the frequently occurring problems like spacing lining crowding etc. Now focus on them in the course of improvement. Gradually a change will occur. As the hand is used to operating a certain way, it may take a while to shift to newer styles. Thus be patient. It will pay off.
Using the above pointers, soon you will write off your own cards and thank you notes. Good Luck!
2. Begin with Baby steps
Now we have the tools to work, the journal to write in and the correct way to write. Moving to what to write. Start with alphabets. The small letters and capitals both. Practice them. Slog away till they are all he same size and shape. When this is done, move to sentences, Quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog is said to be best sentence to work with. It has all the letters. Experiment with the styles based on the analyses. Here Dolche list is very helpful it is a list of words most often used in English language. Practice them to get a hang of the style you chose. This is a good time to choose the curve style of the tail-letters like y,g,j etc. Create your own style, keeping the base firm.
3. Progress charts
There is no better way to change the way you write than start with the progress chart. Start with the way you want to write, have the best examples of written words which inspire you. This will keep you motivated. The last page should have your current work, a reference to judge the progress.
4. Air it pen it
Extension of the point covered in title no.7 Exchange your air-guitar, air-boxing for air-pen. Use your fingers to write. This will help train the shoulder and forearm muscles. Next step is to practice the shapes. This may seem really lame but they are the basic shapes that help with the words. The lines, waves, zig-zigs, mounds, curves etc. this will loosen up your hand and make the shapes habitual. The uniformity will bring the beauty to your work.
5. Analyze and analyze some more
Now that we have established the technical aspect, let’s move on to the art part of it. Begin with understanding your style and method. Write out a paragraph. Then look at the loops, spaces, lining, alignment, slant etc. Check your primary shape. The size of the letter also matters so keep a tab on it. Infer where you lack and make a list of the problem area. They need special attention. A lot of space can be as of putting as no space at all. The neatness and proper uniform slant is important. Slowly start working on problems. Wonders don’t occur all of a sudden so give it time.
6. Inspiration is not a crime
We all have few friends with exceptionally awesome handwriting. So now take inspiration from them, study their curves and loops and spaces. Compare it and choose your style. This doesn’t have to be just one sample, choose four-five and take the best of them. Practice them and see what fits with your style. This can be done with MSWord as well. Type out different fonts, choose what you like and start copying it. Slowly you will develop your own style.
7. Shoulder power
Oddly enough, the fingers and wrist are not our prime area of concentration. It is the shoulders that should matter. Ideally, the wrist and fingers have to just hold the pen in place, keep it stationary. The shoulders have the real job. Every loop and curve should originate from the shoulder not the wrist. The added advantage here is that the shoulder muscles and forearms combine together beautifully and this group doesn’t tire easily. Thus you won’t run out of steam and the page will look amazing once you fill it.
8. Posture counts
Sit up straight, do not be rigid relax. Next, clear the desk and make room to move your hand around. Once you start writing, do not change the posture. When you reach the bottom of paper, do not adjust your stance, move the paper. The desk is your friend. Use it. It is said that the best work occurs when desk is at 45 degrees, but unless you are tech savvy Richie-rich, the regular desk will be just fine. Hunching down, writing with your head down will make the problem worse.
9. Get a Grip on it
Here is a tricky one. The Pen is not really a sword so do not hold it as such. Relax; grip should be light and supportive. Usual mistake made is to rest the non-ink end of the pen on the arch formed by the thumb and index finger. Rest it on or just in front of the base knuckle of the index finger (picture). And guys do not squeeze the pen. It won’t help for the ink flows on its own and the squeezing will tire you out.
10. Choose weapon carefully
Rusty proverb but perfect for the subject. Pen is mightier than sword. If you don’t go to a war with used out kitchen knife why use a pen that is just not right for the job. So here is how we choose. Consider three points: tip, ink and size. Starting with tip, there is fine, extra fine, medium and bold. Thick tip is smoother and fine one is neater. Ink types are ball point (no smudges but not smooth), Rollerball (Smooth but smudges) and gel pen (No smudge and very smooth). Size is matter of personal choice. Thick, thin, light, health and cushion grips. So try out different pens and go with the feel. Your hand will tell you when it likes a version. Pick it up and march to the battle field. FYI left handed writers has a special pen made for them alone. Also some people have sweaty hands, this will enable more smudging. B careful about it.