Improving your handwriting

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A reader recently wrote me an email to ask me about getting a new fountain pen for exams, in the hope of increasing his writing speed.

Being a fountain pen user for some time now, I have come to accept the reality that fountain pens DO NOT improve your handwriting, as the myths go. Instead, you have to work from the root up, and focus on your own writing techniques first. There is only so much an expensive Mont Blanc can do for your handwriting, if you don’t change your writing habits. Well, in fact, it can do pretty much nothing. With an improved technique and practice, you can expect to write quickly and more nicely with just about ANY pen that you use.

In this day of cheap, commoditized ball-point pens and touch-screen devices, the emphasis on handwriting seems to be almost nonexistent. Even during my initial years of schooling, penmanship lessons involved mainly tracing out alphabets in guidelines, and I recall nothing about holding a pen the correct way. So I believe that is the reason why people nowadays grip pens instead of hold them. A pen is not the handlebars of your bicycle that you grip on to so tightly when you are about to fall off it! Here’s an article I read today which very nicely sums up what needs to be done to get back the proper habits of writing.

8 easy tips to improve your handwriting

To face another reality: even though I have been using the fountain pen for so long, I have not changed my writing habits at all…

As they say, old habits die hard. But it doesn’t mean I shouldn’t keep trying… I should include this as one of my New Year’s Resolutions, huh?

2 Responses

  1. JR 19 February 2013 / 11:11 PM

    I would beg to differ on this a wee bit. Fountain pens aside, my handwriting improves noticeably in all situations when I use my Mont Blanc ball pen versus a cheap disposable. At a guess, this is because of the extra weight stopping the pen sliding around on the page like a puppy on an ice rink. It's not a magic cure for bad writing, nor is it worth paying the premium for expensive pens to achieve a small-scale improvement in writing but they do, none the less, make a difference to me.


  2. Mike Grove 11 January 2013 / 4:07 AM

    I like the '8 easy tips' link, although writing 'from the shoulder' seems a bit unusual…

    By coincidence I have just bought a copy of "Improve Your Handwriting" by Rosemary Sassoon and G SE Briem (from the 'Teach Yourself' series).

    However, I haven't had a chance to use this book yet and so can't say how good I think it is – though it was highly recommended by other purchasers on Amazon…

I would love to hear your thoughts!