Welcome to the second post in my new handwriting series!
I’ve been on quite the journey in the past year and a half when it comes to my handwriting, and I’ve been sharing my personal progress online ever since I began to improve my penmanship. This series was born out of the many requests that I get on a daily basis to share my secrets!
Just last week, we covered some of my favorite handwriting resources, and this week I’m excited to dive into my top five tips to improve your everyday handwriting.
Ready? Let’s DO this!
HANDWRITING TIP #1
USE WHAT YOU ALREADY HAVE ON HAND
When it comes to practice supplies, the best supplies are the ones that you already own. It can be SO tempting to go out and buy ALL of the things when you start to practice, but the bottom line is that all you need is paper and a pen or pencil.
Sure, fancy tools can inspire you to practice more and some are better than others, but even the most elaborate of supplies won’t change your handwriting. Only practice can do that.
The chances are that if you have been on your own handwriting journey for a while now, you already have some fun tools at hand. If so then by all means, use your favorite ones. My point here is that there is absolutely no need to go out and spend a fortune in order to practice.
HANDWRITING TIP #2
LOOSEN YOUR GRIP
Loosening your grip is one tip that I still struggle with regularly, but it’s SO important!
A “death grip” on your pen or other writing instruments can have several adverse effects. First of all, it leads to fatigue. Your hand can get tired and cramped very quickly when gripping your pen too tightly.
Secondly, a tight grip can alter the way that your writing looks on the page. If your aim is to have fluid and consistent penmanship, then a loose grip is key.
You’ll find a lot of information online about different “right” and “wrong” ways to hold your pen.
While I do believe there is some validity to these arguments, I also know that trying to change too much all at once can lead to overwhelm and failure.
For now, focus on loosening your current grip and taking breaks to stretch your hand from time to time as you practice.
HANDWRITING TIP #3
FOCUS ON SMALL TWEAKS VS. MAJOR CHANGES
So many factors in your life have led you to the style of writing that you currently use. Your handwriting is unique to you and it should be celebrated. Before attempting a complete overhaul of your handwriting, I recommend making small tweaks to the handwriting that you already have.
Start by writing out the entire alphabet in your favorite style of writing. Then go back and circle your “problem letters” — the ones that you aren’t happy with.
Take each of those individual letters and try changing up the style to something that you love. Once you find it, practice it over and over again, incorporating it into your everyday writing.
Focusing on small tweaks like this will be much easier than trying to overhaul your handwriting all at once. As a bonus, your handwriting will remain uniquely your own :)
HANDWRITING TIP #4
PRACTICE IN YOUR FAVORITE STYLE
Since it is my favorite form of writing, I have focused the majority of my practice on cursive handwriting. I recommend picking your favorite, whether it be cursive, print, or a blend of both, and practicing only that style until you are happy with it.
If you take a look at my social media posts you’ll notice that I often write in multiple styles. I like to use ALL CAPS when writing in my Bullet Journal, as it makes everything look neat and tidy. I like to use cursive when I want something to stand out or be more playful.
Whatever your favorite style, practice that until you are ready to move on to the next.
HANDWRITING TIP #5
PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE
The old saying goes that “practice makes perfect,” but I like to rephrase that a bit when I talk about practice. I much prefer “practice makes progress,” as I don’t really believe in perfection.
Even after all this time practicing my handwriting, I can still see the imperfections and mistakes every time that I write. Especially in the beginning, I would let those imperfections get to me. I would get discouraged and beat myself up when I just couldn’t “get it.”
What I found, though, was that sticking with my practice — even when I felt like I was trudging through mud — allowed me to slowly but surely see more and more progress.
Related Article – How I Practice My Handwriting
In those early days, I filled sheet after sheet with words, letters, poems, and speeches. I practiced and practiced until I was at a level that I was happy with. Now, my practice is less of a “chore” and more just everyday writing.
I still go back and practice with drills from time to time but my handwriting style has been committed to muscle memory, so I don’t need such dedicated practice day in and day out.
The bottom line is you’ll never see any improvement if you don’t commit to doing the work. This applies not only to handwriting but to life in general, so it’s a great habit to form – the habit of commitment.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on improving your handwriting! Do you have any tips and tricks that have helped you on your own journey?
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Kara Benz is the artist and author behind Boho Berry, where she inspires her readers to lead a more centered, fulfilled, and inspired life. Kara also runs a successful sticker shop on Etsy – Boho Berry Paperie.