I think a combination of
- it being harder to write (conventionally) if you’re left handed
- being allowed to get away with it
- thinking I “couldn’t do” writing
all added together with a measure of laziness gave me typically bad hand writing for a left handed person. In fact my cursive was so bad that I switched to writing in CAPITALS, which not only looks bad, but is a stupid thing to do anyway. The reason being that capitals slow you down, and the last thing a person with bad handwriting wants to do is slow down, so all the letters are just as malformed, but now in capitals…
Recently I’d decided that enough was enough and I was going to fix my bad writing. I did some searching on the amazing internet and found this great handwriting resource. Briem advocates a style called renaissance italic because it is fast to write, easy to learn and looks really nice. Additionally he has a page for left handed people, which was interesting reading. One thing suggested was to write upside down, from the bottom left of the page to the top right. This has a whole bunch of advantages…
- if you hold the pen in your right hand, you naturally drag the pen across the paper, allowing the ink to flow nicely. If you are left handed, you have to push it which makes it scratchy and horrid. Starting from the bottom left means you can pull it just like a right hander
- smudging what you’ve just written is another left handed bane. Again, if you start from the botton and work up, it all works out fine
- you don’t need a special left handed nib. Because the whole set up is just like a right hander writing sitting opposite you, a right handed pen works fine.
- you don’t get back slanted writing, and it’s easier for your wrist to move correctly.
Is it hard?
I found it surprisingly easy, but it did take a lot of work and practice. I think it was easier than I expected to learn the letters because my brain wasn’t trying to fight the new patterns as they were so different (being upside down). I probably wrote a full page of every letter by the end of my initial training period. This took about 2 weeks. Then I just started writing lots, and fixed things like
- problem letters
- problem letter combinations
- holding the pen too hard
I still have some problems related to not being able to read as well upside down. This makes it harder to cross and dot the right letters.
I now have beautiful handwriting that keeps getting faster and more refined. I love being able to write my songs and poems in something that looks beautiful too. I think that once I got to the point where I could see that it was going to work, it became much easier to be motivated.
I definately recommend upside down writing to all left handed people wanting nice hand writing!
Heres a little sample; maybe one day you’ll be lucky enough to be given something written by my fair left hand!