I remember my first school books having the top two thirds of the page blank for a picture and the bottom third of the page printed with two or three lines for our handwritten story. I much preferred writing to drawing and went through about ten different styles of handwriting before settling into the one I naturally use now.
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Anyway... this isn't about me and my memories. It's National Handwriting Day and handwriting is something that always fascinates and amazes me, especially when a comparison of two different (adult) samples shows so very many dissimilarities. We all have the same basics and the same tools, yet so much variety. I do hold my pen slightly differently (apparently) as I rest it on my third (ring) finger rather than my middle finger. I mentioned this in a #StationeryLovers video last year where I talked about all my favourite writing implements (I'll embed the video at the end of this blog post for you to watch).
So what is the point in National Handwriting Day? Well, for me, it encourages you to put pen to paper and practice your handwriting. It's also proven that the act of writing something out can help to order your thoughts and is good for mindfulness. The whole process of writing helps with grammar, punctuation, spelling rather than txtspk and those processes also translate to my online communication - I'm a stickler for writing the longest ever texts and Facebook messages and then taking just as long to decipher the speedy reply that my friends send - it's almost like code!
I know that my bullet journal is a great way for me to empty my head of my continuous to-do list and seeing it on paper (and physically crossing the items off) helps me to Get Things Done. I did have a bit of a giggle when reading this blog post about pen behaviour from Pen Heaven as I'm sure it tells me that when I consistently click my pen, I'm creatively frustrated...
story of my life. Pen Heaven also send me some general handwriting analysis which I'll leave at the end of this blog post for you to read - it's so interesting!
Just to finish off, I also asked around the interwebs for some handwriting questions and I've picked a few of my favourites with my own answers. Feel free to add your own thoughts in the comments too.
"Will left-handers always be messy writers" (from Emma) and "How can I help my left-handed daughter with her writing skills?" (from Amy)
Gone are the times where we force our children to favour one hand over the other although it is very noticeable that languages that are written on the paper from left to right, right-handedness is more popular. I found this great blog post from Stabilo which gives great advice about pen position, arm and wrist position and how to angle the writing paper, all of which will help lefties to control their writing technique.
"Why do all doctors have ineligible handwriting?" (from Lucy)
I laughed when I read this question from Lucy because I am almost certain that the reason is the same as my own messy handwriting. A work colleague commented recently that I write very quickly; I have my own version of shorthand which helps me to take speedy notes. I'm convinced that doctors are so concentrated on listening to their patient, making notes to refer back to later that, in their haste, their writing takes a back seat.
"Are there any helpful ideas for children who struggle because they have fine motor skills?" (from Ann)
I'd personally suggest that practice makes perfect but this could be achieved with fun activities that are going to assist in the development of the fingers and the wrist. There are also fabulous angled writing implements and pencil grippers available that I found useful when my own children were younger. This blog post from OT Mum which might have some tips to help.
"What are the best pens for calligraphy in my Bullet Journal that don't cost the earth?" (from Kate)
As calligraphy is ink based, I'm sure you're already using a notebook that has heavy paper so looking for fountain pens or traditional calligraphy sets on recommended pen sites would be a good start. I found this selection on Pen Heaven and more here on Bureau Direct (Lamy seems to be the top recommendation on both sites) - both of which I'd fully recommend. As an aside, I'm so envious of your calligraphy skills. It's something I've always wanted to learn.
Here's the video I mentioned further up the blog post - also, keep reading for that research from Pen Heaven which looks at what your handwriting says about you.
What Your Handwriting Says About You
As unique as a fingerprint, with no regard for age, gender or race, handwriting, with all its subtleties, has long been used to determine ones’ personality. An excellent reflection of a person’s psyche, doctors through to matchmakers have been known to examine cursive to reveal everything from lingering ailments to compatibility.
Delving deeper and looking at the finer detail, Pen Heaven have pooled together their best resources, experience and knowledge to help you ascertain what your writing style reveals about you.
From sharp pointed letters to large looped ‘y’s’ and how one dots an ‘I’, Pen Heaven present their handwritten rules to ascertain if your cursive is giving off the right impression!
Size, Pressure & Speed
Small lettering shows academic qualities, often found in scientists, lawyers and technicians – those who need to be precise. It represents a good ability to focus and concentrate on the job at hand.
Large script comes from the hand of a true creative, showcasing the writer’s wide perspective on the world and one who rarely gets bored.
When it comes to the amount of pressure applied when writing, this is directly related to a person’s mood and emotions - the harder the pressure, the deeper the emotion. Very indented font can signify tension, stress and moments of anger.
Those who have patience when they write exude a methodical and organised hand, the complete opposite to a hasty writer who scribbles down quickly and often has a dislike for any delay.
Angles & Spacing
Wide spacing between letters shows a free spirit, one who is relaxed and open. The same hand will more than likely use large loops for y, g, p and l. The more artistic the individual is, the more curvaceous and rounded all letters become.
Words that overcrowd and offer limited space between each other, very much reflect a person of the same nature – one who is intrusive and oversteps personal space. If the author is of a sceptical mind, they may also express their mindset with narrow loops on all letters that hoop and curl.
Sharp and pointed lettering is an immediate giveaway for a curious, intelligent and intense character, one who is likely to cross their ‘t’ with a long stroke to show just how determined they are.
Crosses, Dots & Slants
When it comes to self-esteem, how one crosses off the letter ‘T’ will say it all. A writer who crosses with a short line allows all to see their lazy streak, whilst one using a longer strike oozes determination. The forever optimist will also cross the T at the very top, with the most comfortable and secure souls crossing around midway.
Representing the writer’s ego, the positioning of the dot that completes a lowercase ‘I’ can either show a precise and exacting nature (a high dot), allow the inner procrastinator to shine through (to the left) or unearth a deluded personality (to the right)! Equally, a circle will uncover an eccentric, a childish one if the circle is large, whereas a slash represents a self-critical being.
Words and letters that slant are a direct indicator of a person’s emotional response. The further the text leans forward or to the right, the more outgoing the author is. Those with handwriting that leans back tend to be more independent and aloof, whilst the hand that writes exactly vertical on the page emanates control of their emotions, using their head rather than their heart to lead.
Quality & Clarity
The author who always writes in cursive likes to display their logical mindset – one who is headstrong and examines all options before taking any decision.
Clear and disconnected writing shows great intuition, with the author tending to act on impulse.
Even a signature can offer an insight into your personality traits, with a legible mark letting others know you are strong and confident. Those who sign in ineligible text keep their cards close to their chest, making them hard to read and often seeking privacy. The bigger the size of the signature, the more important the person thinks they are, whereas a small (normal size as text) signature is an expression of modesty and sincerity.
Reproduced with kind permission - thanks to Pen Heaven
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