# Etiquette # Handwriting

On Penmanship

I have a confession to make...

My handwriting is atrocious.

I used to have lovely handwriting when I was in high school. It must have been all of those handwritten papers. But when I went to college the computer became my main mode for writing and has remained so ever since. And yes, as a professional writer I write a lot. Every single day, as a matter of fact, my fingers adroitly cruise along my keyboard.

There seems to be little to no need to actually write longhand anymore. So when I find myself needing to do so- when I write letters, for example, I am absolutely horrified by what has become my handwriting.

This saddens me. Not only because I would expect a writer to have lovely handwriting, but because I am a daily connoisseur and like so many of you, I like beautiful things- that includes penmanship!

So I am on a course to better myself. I came across a really interesting article by Nick Rowlands called, 8 Easy Tips to Improve Your Handwriting, and thought he had a lot of very fascinating, connoisseur-like tips to share.

When writing about why you might want to improve your handwriting, Mr. Rowlands states:

“Perhaps (like me) you want to write more legibly, so your notes don’t look like a spider has been dipped in poisonous ink and then violently convulsed itself to death across your page.”

Apart from finding this hilarious, I sadly found it more than an accurate portrayal of how I write!

He continues:

You can’t produce elegant, free-flowing script if you are hunched up over the only corner of your desk not littered with empty coffee cups, half eaten sandwiches, and rogue power cables.

Now my desk isn’t that bad, but it’s not exactly a Mecca of orderliness either. As soon as I realized this I de-cluttered my desk immediately.

He also states that posture is key as is grip of the pen as well as what type of pen you use.

And most importantly, one must practice, practice practice!

So I am going on a quest to improve my dire penmanship. De-cluttering, good posture, a relaxed grip and practice. These are all things I can do. I’ll let you know how it goes.

In the meantime I would love to know… how is your penmanship?

If you are unable to see my embedded video above, click here, look in the sidebar of this blog, or visit www.youtube.com/TheDailyConnoisseur

To read Nick Rowland's article 8 Easy Tips to Improve Your Handwriting, click here.

Thank you to ItaliaGal for nominating The Daily Connoisseur for the very inspiring blog award.

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Stephanie said...

I must admit that my penmanship is quite good thanks to my parents who write in cursive and calligraphic forms. Due to this, i am constantly and still trying to learn how to write in a cursive form on a daily basis. I am actually thinking of getting handwriting books that kids use to help with it :)

xo Stephanie

Jess said...

Everyone tells me I have the nicest handwriting. Some people even ask me which font I used, and then they are surprised when I tell them it's written by hand! I've been told I should do writing for children's books, or something like that. If you know a way for those of us with nice penmanship to put our skill to good use, do tell!

Anonymous said...

I've always been pretty particular about my handwriting, so I'd say my penmanship is pretty nice...when I try. Cards, letters, handwritten personal notes or lists -- those all look great. At work, when I'm rushed, I'd say it's inconsistent, but always fairly legible. =)

Luli said...

I must admit that I have the worst handwriting in the world. The ugliest. The only excuse I have is that I learned English as a 3rd language and in my mother tongue, Greek, we don't have the same letters or even cursive the way the American language has it. It has never occured to me to make it look nicer because I didn't think it possible. Yet again you came to my rescue Ms. Daily Connoisseur. Merci. :)

R.S. said...

This has been a hot topic in my house of late, as my husband's writing reflects his engineering days (block lettering) and my own is a product of a lapsed Catholic education. It was once so much better. I have to say that I am appalled at my son's penmanship, newly minted kindergartener that he is.

To remedy our situation, I picked up one of those handwriting practice books from our local five and dime (for the little guy). As for me, I'm always inspired to write more neatly when I have a good quality gel pen and some nice museum stationary handy.

Good luck with your quest, Jennifer! xoxo!

Unknown said...

I've always had good handwriting. My cursive skills over the years have gotten bad though. I actually read an article a few weeks about about some schools in the midwest deciding to stop teaching cursive because it's "old" and people use computers more so they'd rather focus on typing!

Michelle said...

Hello Jennifer,
You are quite an inspiration, so I have nominated you for The Very Inspiring Blogger Award. For more, click here-->http://italiagal.blogspot.com/2012/07/very-inspiring-blog-award.html

Deborah said...

I've often wished I could learn to write with the style and flair of a European. What an elegant way to write cursive. Any way someone can learn how to add this flair to their handwriting?

Lisa@Pickles and Cheese said...

I am happy with my handwriting and love to get a handwritten note in the mail. The sad thing is they no longer teach cursive in school and so both my kids have terrible hand writing. My son's is the worst! It's childlike and chicken scratchy. Luckily they both can print nicely. And I have to say my handwriting is much nicer than my printing.

sunnysblog@gmail.com said...

What timing! I was just thinking about this last week...as my handwriting has gotten worse. I thought your penmanship is yours and that's it (as in - it won't change)... but this blogger changed his handwriting...


Penmanship. Just the word makes me want to write real letters to family and friends!

Dee J said...

A graphologist would tell you that messy handwriting is often linked to intelligence, so you might want to embrace it haha! But I appreciate how you don't want your cards + letters looking like a doctor's prescription slip.

Practicing penmanship reminds me more of an art form, like learning calligraphy. Hopefully kids will still learn it in school.

I'd describe my handwriting as legible but unique, not copybook.

Take care ~d

Monique said...

When my daughter showed an interest in cursive recently, I noticed how much my penmanship has changed over the years - mostly due to becoming a mother, finding more interests in life, and just overall a product of a modern life. If I am purposeful, I still can have the same beautiful penmanship I learned in elementary school. Good quality pens are a new requirement for me! I, too, love all things French, so in my quest a few months ago I found the following links that might intrigue you. Enjoy!

A video of how they teach it in France:

French cursive:

KateGladstone said...

My handwriting is adequate to my needs (as a handwriting teacher/remediator and director of the World Handwriting Contest at http://www.HandwritingThatWorks.com )

Kristi said...

Yep. Thats me. The spider. It's embarrassing for my kids to see it. Thanks so much for sharing!
PS Loving the green top/dress? I love your style, as you know. AND of course, your writing.

The Daily Connoisseur said...

Hi everyone- Thanks for weighing in! A lot of people related to this post. I will do a follow up video and also perhaps a pen review as I think pens make a big difference too like so many of you have stated. Thanks again! x

Lacey R said...

Very interesting post, my handwriting used to be quite nice, now it's a mixture of writing, printing, capitals, etc. If I have to write something down fast, it is really messy.

I agree with the others, a good quality pen is a must!

Rosemary said...

FYI cursive will no longer be taught in public schools. As our country moves to the new Common Core standards, cursive handwriting will be eliminated from the curriculum. As a teacher, I'm saddened by this change. We are told it's a waste of time. So sad.

Clare Wilson said...

Interesting post on penmanship! As a teacher, I can say that it's very nice when people have good handwriting, since it's so nice to be able to read what they write!

My handwriting is fairly good - genetically, I always say, because it's similar to my mother's, which is gorgeous. As I've gotten older, though, I've noticed that it's gotten looser and bolder - messier, in a way. That's more a reflection of my personality than a degradation of the penmanship, though, I think, since I still can write perfectly if I want to. If you did a follow up post on penmanship, it would be interesting to think of how personality affects the shape of writing!