I'll blame technology.

Yeah, like so many people are talking about, relying on keyboarding wrecked my cursive handwriting. Maybe that's only a half truth. Maybe it was never what you could call calligraphic quality. I'm left-handed, and I'll admit, it's been a lifelong challenge. Although, my mother has beautiful script, and she's left-handed too. However, she has kept up her penmanship skills and hasn't given up on handwritten cards and letters like I mostly have. I even write letters to my prison penpal on the computer, and print them out to mail.

Numbers are great. No problem there. I jot down a ton of phone numbers checking voice mail. I never have to do an Amazing Kreskin act to figure out a number I have recorded on a scrap of paper. I write numbers just fine. Of course, number are numbers, I love them - there are no cursive expectations.

Sometimes it's a problem.

Like a few weeks ago when I went to an important meeting and wrote notes on a sheet of looseleaf paper. Lines kept the writing straight, but when I needed to refer to the notes a few days ago I was confused by more than a few words and had to try to tease out the context. I'm not 100% confident I won't end up calling my meeting partner for clarification sometime soon.

Then there's last week's 2 day certification training. The first order of business for the trainer was to set room expectations. In the top 3 were to keep technology to a minimum. I didn't feel comfortable taking my phone or tablet out to take notes in Keep because I got eyes just quickly checking my email (maybe it was paranoia), though laptop people didn't seem to have that issue. She probably assumed they were taking notes, but I'm certain at least one was playing Candy Crush. Not to fear, facilitators read from the slides and also provided them printed out. As unstimulating as that always is, in this case it worked out. There was a test at the end - imagine if I would have had to rely on handwritten notes. I'm certain I dodged a bonafide calamity.

I thought I solved the issue years ago when I bought the first generation Livescribe smartpen. But it was like holding a big magic marker, people were paranoid when I was using it that I was a spy, and I didn't find it comfortable so I gave up on it. It's in my electronics graveyard. You probably have one of those too, filled with cables, chargers, cases, holders, batteries, old devices, etc. I visit it when I experience some pressing technology challenge, thinking the answer could be in there. Instead, I keep finding a broken flip phone, Blackberry Pearl charger, and headphones with disintegrating foam ear covers.

The struggle is real.

This isn't about doodle art or hand lettering envy. Or that I once owned a calligraphy pen and didn't realize it wouldn't ever work well for a left-handed writer no matter how hard I tried. #Fail.

There's a lot of critique that some schools are no longer teaching cursive handwriting. I work with some youth in that boat. Waiting for them to fill out enrollment forms in block letters is painful and a huge time waster. Technology will remedy that someday, but in the meantime I want to improve my own skills. So, I started googling how to improve handwriting and came up with a bonanza of reasons why some people have horrible handwriting - everything from learning disabilities, to lack of practice due to reliance on keyboarding, and hands not being able to keep up with fast thinkers.

I also found a trove of practice worksheets. I decided to print off the 3 page Improve Your Cursive Worksheet from 8 Tips to Improve Your Handwriting over at the TPK website. Lindsey Bugbee knew just what I needed. After one hour of practice there was a notable an incredible improvement. And oh the memories of primary school, the exercises took me right back like probably nothing else could.

More practice and next thing you know, I'll be bullet journaling.

Do you have penmanship challenges? Do you care? If the answer is yes, download the worksheets, grab a nice pen and fix yo' self!


Leave a Reply