The quest to improve your handwriting is an interest that is prevalent in the planning, handwriting, hand-lettering, letter-writing, and journaling communities. It is something that we all have in common; we write, therefore we desire tidying it up.
Tips to improve your handwriting:
1. Write slower.
This is the best tip to 'instantly' tidy up your natural handwriting.
2. Familiarize yourself with the anatomy of a character.
Photo source: Fonts.com
The most important ones to know for the purposes of improving your everyday handwriting are:
- Cap Height: The height of capital letters from the baseline to the top of the letter.
- X-height: The height of lowercase letters such as c, not including ascenders and descenders.
- Ascenders: The part of a lowercase letter that extends above the x-height (b, d, f, h, k, l, t)
- Descenders: The part of a letter that descends below the bottom of the x-height.
- Bar: The horizontal stroke on letters (A, H, R, t, e, a)
- Baseline: All letters sit on this line
Learn more about the entire anatomy of a character here.
3. Practice with a writing activity you enjoy.
- Write down song lyrics
- In your Bullet Journal or planner
- A ‘fun book’ such as the 642 things to write about
- Writing letters (Kara has some good resources; you can also write to me, I usually write back :))
- Random acts of kindness by writing sweet notes on sticky notes and leaving them around town
4. Find an alphabet and emulate it.
Pinterest is a good resource for this. It might be trickier to find an alphabet for regular handwriting, but if you find other alphabets, you could take inspiration from them and add some of their nuances to your handwriting.
5. Join the #RockYourHandwriting challenge.
Challenges are awesome because you get a level of camaraderie and encouragement that you'd have a difficult time finding elsewhere online. Everyone that participates cares about their handwriting and in tidying theirs up. This drive creates for an awesome atmosphere of support and understanding.
The #RockYourHandwriting challenge in particular is one that Kara, Jessica, Dee, and I came up with to help, inspire, and support you in your everyday handwriting journey! This challenge has been extremely popular and effective in not only motivating others to improve their handwriting, but also to gain new friendships, pick up nuances from each other, and root each other on.
It is a wonderfully active and supportive community in which we grow stronger with one another and in our own skills. It is an amazing thing to find so many people interested in the same objective and I am very proud of all of you and am eagerly cheering you all on!
6. Practice, practice, practice.
Handwriting is one of those things that we tend to settle into and unless we actively and consistenly work on improving it, it won't improve at all. If you really want to neaten up your everyday handwriting, then you're going to need to practice.
To help you in your quest of improving your handwriting, I created a few handwriting printables to help you out!
Free Handwriting Printables:
Since most notebooks these days have 5mm spacing, it makes sense to practice on a guide that will help you improve your handwriting under these conditions. Based on this, I created a few printables with small handwriting in mind.
1. With three dashed horizontal lines
- The top dashed line is for the top of the cap height and ascenders (such as the top of an 'A' and ‘t,’ respectively).
- The middle dashed line is for the top of the x-height on lowercase letters and for the bar on some of the other letters (t, A, H, e).
- The bottom dashed line is for the descenders.
2. One with all of the above AND vertical lines to practice the width of your letters
This way you can improve their uniformity so that your handwriting looks more even. I recommend starting out with this one and then moving to number 1 when you feel more confident about the spacing of your letters.
3. Same as number 1 AND diagonal lines so that you can practice slanted writing or cursive
Either way, it'll help to give your handwriting a little more personality, although straight writing is also quite lovely.
Click here to download them all.
I am by no means an expert, quite the contrary. I admit that my handwriting isn’t the best, but I still love it, because it’s mine and it has a unique flair. That said, like many others, I like improving and neatening it up so that it’s more legible to myself and to others. My favorite ways to practice are by writing in my Bullet Journal, diary/journal, and by writing letters (feel free to send me one, I usually respond :)).
Let me know if this was helpful and please share with others who you think would like these printables to improve their handwriting :)
Teal pen with the arrow clip used: Parker Jotter with a gel refill, they usually come with a ballpoint refill.
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