Handwriting may be a lost art but it still is a beautiful way of communicating with each other. Being unique to each one of us, handwriting can really help express our personalities and also give us an insight into someone’s character. Handwriting tends to change based on one’s thoughts and moods and that is why handwriting analysts can get a peek into the writer’s character and personality. In this era of touch-screens and texting, handwriting may seem like a dying art, but one must, nevertheless, learn to write beautifully.
Here are some easy ways to teach yourself better handwriting:
1. Invest in the right tools
Tools for beautiful handwriting are pens, pencils, paper, and other accessories. If you choose to go with pencils, select a pencil with proper hardness and blackness. This is usually represented by the words HB on the pencil. A number after the H depicts the hardness of the core whereas a number after the B indicates the softness or blackness of the print. There are good pencils from Staedtler, Blackwing, etc as well as mechanical pencils that do not need sharpening. You can also experiment with pens when you want to practice your writing. Choose a pen with fast-drying ink that dries quickly and does not get smudged. When you find a good tool to write, you will be more likely to continue your practice to improve your handwriting.
2. Do some warm-up hand exercises
Before starting to practice your cursive or print writing, it is a good idea to perform some hand and wrist exercises. Clench and unclench your hand several times. Exercise your fingers by clenching and unclenching your fist. Extend your arms to the sides and try to bring your palms towards your body. Rotate your wrists several times. This will strengthen the muscles and also prepare the wrists and fingers for the work ahead.
3. Practice daily
Whether you are a kid or an adult looking to improve your handwriting, you must start with an intention that you will dedicate time to daily practice. The old adage that Practice Makes Perfect is especially true in the case of improving handwriting. Once you set aside a fixed time for this task, you will be more inclined to do it daily.
4. Learn to grasp the writing tool properly
If you tend to clench your pen or pencil too hard, it can tire your hand out. The trick is to relax your hand. Practice different grasps to see which works best for you. Check out this guide on different types of pen or pencil grasps. There are many inefficient grasps like holding the pen or pencil in the hand with fingers clenched around it. It can get very difficult to write like that for a length of time and can tire out your fingers. Once you have decided the right grasp for you, practice the same every day. Do not make changes. And continue your finger and wrist strengthening exercises as well.
5. Maintain good posture
Maintaining good posture is also one of the basic but oft-overlooked steps in improving one’s handwriting. Sit with your back straight and feet flat on the ground. Maintain your elbows at a 90-degree angle. Ideally, you should have a table or a desk in front of you so you can keep your hands on it. Relax your arms and shoulders. A good posture will prevent strain on your body and help your writing look its best. Some people have trouble maintaining posture. For them, a slant board can help, instead of writing on a level surface. Experiment with an angle that works best for you.
6. Maintain the paper’s position
Once you have found the right position, it is also important to make the paper and pen work for you. Position the paper comfortably: if you are right-handed, then tilt the paper to your left and tilt it to the right if you are left-handed. Make sure your elbow is supported by the desk and that it isn’t too cramped or sticking far too out. Once you start writing, do not tweak or change your posture, instead move the paper so that the line you are on is comfortable for you to write upon.
7. Have a strong beginning
In order to improve your handwriting, find a slant and use it each time you sit for practicing. Set a tone and maintain it. You can start by writing short paragraphs. Use the same slant each time. Make sure you are comfortable writing that way; you certainly do not want to make promises that you cannot keep.
8. Invest in cursive writing books
There are many good writing practice books available in the market. These will help with uppercase or lowercase letters. They can also help with cursive writing and come with words as well as sentences to copy and practice.
- Handwriting: Cursive Workbook by Carson-Dellosa Publishing is a good book.
- Improve your Handwriting by Rosemary Sassoon and G. Briem is good too.
- You can also print free handwriting templates from this site. Simply trace each given alphabet or word and then repeat it in the blank spaces.
9. Use what you have learned in your daily writing tasks
Apart from using handwriting templates and cursive writing practice books, you must also use what you have learned from them in your daily work. Whether you are writing a Thank-You card, or signing a check, or leaving a note for someone; use the cursive or print handwriting that you have been practicing. Not only is it a great way to put your writing to the test; you just might get a compliment for your lovely writing!