Since grade school, you were taught how to write. But writing is more than just striking a pen on paper. It is a mean of communication. Your ideas must be understood by your readers.
Unfortunately, for some people, communicating ideas through writing is daunting. This is the reason I write this article that aims to help those who need help with their writing problems. This article contains basic tips on how to write more legibly.
Good writing styles are behaviors that could be learned. By following some basic tips, you will be able to fix your problem. I strongly believe that, if you are that committed to undergo consistent practice, you will achieve your goal.
However, you also need to understand that good writing takes time to develop. There is no quick and shortcut strategy. It is a process. And to understand the process, you need to understand how writing works first.
You may be thinking that handwriting is easy. It may look easy but it’s actually complex. Handwriting is an outcome of the incredibly complicated combination between your body and mind. Your brain controls the muscles in your arms and shoulders to guide them in the right direction.
On the other hand, your eyes also play an important role in the writing process. As your arms and hands move, your eyes see to it that the letters and words are correct. In this case, writing is a complicated process.
But as I mentioned already, writing is a mean of communication. Thus, you need to make your ideas clear and precise in order for them to be understood and accepted by the receiver or the reader. This makes the process even more complicated.
As I promised, I will give you my basic tips for achieving legible writing output. Here are the tips.
How to write more legibly?
To achieve this goal, you need to follow some of these strategies. I hope that these steps will work to your advantage.
Hold your pen the right way
Legible writing starts with the right way of holding your writing tool. Either you use a pencil or ballpoint pen, you need to implement the correct grip. Some people who struggle in their writing is because they hold the pen the wrong way. The correct way of holding a pen is allowing the pen to rest at the base of the thumb. Then, let your thumb, index and middle fingers to hold it. Holding your pen this way allows you to write faster and more legible.
Be guided by the lines
Most papers have lines. If you are writing on those papers, it is important to realize that the lines are there to guide your cursive writing. The upper case letters should not overlap with both upper and lower lines. The lower case letters must not position below the lower line. Be mindful of the boundaries in order to keep your writing legible.
On the other hand, if you are writing on papers without the pre-drawn lines, you need to develop an extra skill. In this case, as my years of experience suggest, you need to have an imaginary line across the paper. How? Here’s what you can do.
First, write your first sentence in the top section of the paper. But make sure that the first line of your writing is straight from the left side to the right side of the paper. The purpose of making sure that your first line is straight is because it will serve as your basis as you write the following.
Second, you must maintain equal space between the above and the below sentences. This may be hard in the beginning. But as you get accustomed to this writing strategy, you will find it easier and more doable.
Control your pacing
Not all writing circumstances require speed writing or slow writing. It always depends on the situation. Sometimes, when you are writing on a very important document, you want to make sure you don’t screw it. In some instances, making a mistake can be hard to erase later. Slowing down sometimes could actually be productive and fast. It is important to determine the situation.
Hold the pen less tightly
The reason most people don’t achieve legible longhand writing is that they grip the pen too tightly. This actually creates more tension which in turn negatively affects your writing. In some cases, especially children, the pencils break. Try to loosen up your grip. Let your hands move smoothly without restraint. This will allow you to achieve fine cursive writing. As long as your pen marks the letters you’re doing well.
Find good writing samples
When I was in grade school, I found my mother’s cursive writing fascinating. It motivated me to write the way she wrote. As a result, whenever I got a writing activity (poem composition, essay writing, etc.) I tried to mimic my mother’s handwriting. Fortunately, after months of practice, I almost perfected the style. It did not look exactly like my mother’s but it was really close.
What I am trying to say here is that you can absolutely learn from others. So my suggestion is that find a legible writing style to copy and gives you tips on how to write more legibly.
Learn to relax while writing
Like playing any type of sports, you need to have a relaxed hand and muscles. Remember that muscle tension could affect your cursive writing. Therefore, before you start striking your pen, you need to do some stretching. Stretch your hands and fingers. The purpose of this is to release the tension in your wrist and hand.
Use the right pen
The pens you use may greatly impact your writing speed and quality. Achieving legible longhand writing output, you need the right writing tool. Choosing the perfect pen comes with several considerations. No one can tell you what exactly the best for you.
There are a lot of types of pens you can choose from. In some cases, of course, it always depends on the situation, I use Barbara Getty. You may also want to try this pen and see if it fits your needs.
But aside from that, I use different ballpoint pens for my writing projects. Mostly, I use Pilot G2 rollerball, Uniball Signo gel pen, are Zebra F-301 ballpoint pens. These pens are cheap and perfect for daily use.
But for my research writing, especially when analyzing qualitative data, I normally use Papermate Profile pens. These pens come in many colors you can choose from. These pens are perfect for coding the themes (I write the themes on either margin of the paper with color-coding).
Consistency is key to achievement. This is how to write more legibly – through consistent practice. Most people easily get bored with the process. You shouldn’t be if you want your cursive writing to be fixed.
Every time you write something on a paper, try to implement the strategy and writing style you want to learn. Try different writing speed, size of letters, and angle. Then determine what works and what doesn’t.
When I was practicing my cursive writing, I wasn’t sure I could really make it. It was hard to do something when you are a beginner. But as I force myself and commit to the process, I was able to develop my own writing style although I pattern it from my mother.
That’s it. I hope you’ve learned something from my tips on how to write more legibly. I cannot ensure that these steps make your cursive writing perfect. But if you stick to these techniques, you’ll make a huge difference.
It is also important to remember that you don’t have to do all these tips in order to fix your writing performance. You may only interested in some of these steps. Nevertheless, I strongly believe that, if implemented correctly, these techniques will help you. Good luck with your practice.