Thursday, July 28, 2016

10 Ways to Practice Your Handwriting


This summer before my courses started, I was pretty bored, so I decided that I wanted to practice and improve my handwriting!

This was a picture that I had posted on my Instagram for #TransformationTuesday - here, you can see how my handwriting improved through practice (though I will admit that it's a little biased because I was purposely trying to write neatly in the second picture) // OurJourneyinJournals.blogspot.com

To practice your handwriting, you don't need anything fancy - just some paper and a writing utensil. You can use literally any sort of text, but if you need some ideas for carefree, dedicated practice, here are 10 ways to practice your handwriting!

1. Alphabets

When you first decide that you want to improve your handwriting, I suggest writing out the alphabet (and numbers, too). That way, you can really focus and see the specific letters and strokes that you want to improve.

After writing out the alphabet, pick out the letters that you want to change, and focus on writing those ones over and over again. However, remember to not just aimlessly write them out; you need to write them while being aware of which strokes you want to change and improve.


2. Song lyrics

Copying down song lyrics is a pretty popular way to practice your handwriting. Plus, you're actually practicing with something you enjoy! If you want to write in real-time along with the song, you can play a YouTube video of the song on half speed. However, I don't suggest this; when practicing your handwriting, you should go at your own pace and go as slowly as you need to.

3. Quotes

You can use any sort of quotes: famous speeches, poems, lines from what you're watching on Netflix, etc. There are so many resources online. If you want to, you could also create a spread in your bullet journal dedicated to inspirational quotes. Thus, you would have a good pick-me-up resource for when you're feeling down but practice your handwriting at the same time!

4. Journaling

This is pretty self-explanatory. A good thing about journaling is that since I don't really know where I'm going or how long I'm going to be writing for, I don't feel compelled to go quickly. Thus, I can go very slowly and really perfect each letter. This is especially good if I had been writing very quickly, which can make my handwriting go down the trash, so this helps me get back in the habit of writing well.

Speaking along the same line as journaling, when you write in your bullet journal or whatever planner you use, be aware of your handwriting. I find it to be nice, everyday practice.

5. Snail mail

Snail mail is another way to practice your handwriting. If you don't have anyone to write to, you could write to your favorite bloggers or YouTubers; a lot of them have PO boxes and really appreciate anyone that mails a real-life, analogue letter to them. If you do a quick search, you can also find a lot sites and groups out there that are specifically for connecting people that are looking for pen pals. In fact, there's even a bullet journal Facebook group specifically for this purpose.

6. Pangrams

Pangrams are sentences that have all of the letters in a language, such as the famous English sentence "a quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog." They're often used for displaying fonts, but they're also a more real-world handwriting practice tool to work on every letter than just writing the alphabet over and over again. I found an awesome post that is a copy of the now-deleted Wikipedia page "List of Pangrams." It has SO many pangrams in many different languages, including one in - of all things - Klingon. Go figure.

7. #RockYourHandwriting

#RockYourHandwriting is a monthly challenge both on Instagram and the Facebook group hosted by the lovely ladies of Boho Berry, Tiny Ray of Sunshine, Pretty Prints and Paper, and Decade Thirty (aka handwriting goddess). Each month, they release a set of daily prompts about topics of all sorts. However, like I've said before, make sure that you aware of how you're forming each letter while doing this challenge! I've only done Rock Your Handwriting once (back in April), but it was kind of a waste because I didn't actually work on trying to improve on the shape of each letter. But eh, you live and you learn. And drill the message into other people's heads so they don't make the same mistake.

8. Copying a book

You can use any sort of random book/big block of text that isn't necessarily a book: a novel, a news article, a textbook, whatever. It doesn't really matter.

To kill two birds with one stone, you could use this practice time by copying down a recipe you've been meaning to archive in your bujo, a really moving passage from an inspirational book you read recently that you want to have in your bullet journal, or anything else.

9. YouTube comments

This was the main form of practice that I would use when I had nothing better to do during the summer. I would go on YouTube, find a long video that seemed interesting, and just scroll through the comments (and sometimes the video description). I generally find planner-related hauls, reviews, and what's in my pen case videos to be the best for handwriting practice for a few reasons:
  1. They tend to be long (eight minutes or longer)
  2. They tend to have lengthy comments (because the planner community in general is very personable and in-depth in their YouTube comments), so you don't constantly have to be looking for more comments to copy down
  3. They tend to have lots of talking with not too many visuals, meaning the videos are great to listen to (either actually paying attention or just as background noise), but you can focus your eyes on the actual writing
I like doing this so I can still be entertained while still being productive at the same time - I don't know about you, but that's a win win situation in my book!

10. Using free practice sheets

Printables from online can be helpful in aiding your quest for pretty handwriting. However, keep in mind that it's easier to build on your own handwriting and improving on what you already got. Consequently, these practice sheets are generally not letter-by-letter worksheets, but rather line guides that will help make each letter consistent while writing any of these other things mentioned above.

You can easily find a bunch of different printables online, but here are some from three of our very own "Fantastic Four" (see the Rock Your Handwriting hosts from above)!
  • Kim/Tiny Ray of Sunshine: How to Improve Your Everyday Handwriting - printables for 5 mm spacing, which is the line width used in almost all graph/dot grid notebooks
  • Dee/Decade Thirty: Improve Your Everyday Handwriting - this is a four-part series, so I included the link for the last post (which has links for the previous posts at the very beginning)
  • Kara/Boho Berry: How I Practice My Handwriting - because a lot of her practice involves improving her cursive, Kara's printable helps you with how she personally writes the alphabet in cursive
All in all, I have two big tips for you all:
  1. I'll say this again and again and again: pay attention to what you're doing! Handwriting practice is a complete waste of time if you keep making the same mistakes over and over.
  2. Go slowly. When just practicing to make your handwriting look nicer and more legible, writing quickly will only make it look like crap (which, in my honest opinion, does not look very good).
  3. Bonus third tip that's not really related: if you have any specific questions, I suggest consulting the subreddit dedicated to handwriting
So those are 10 different ways I thought of to practice your handwriting. I hope at least one of them was useful to you and something new you haven't thought of before!


What'd I miss? What ways do you practice your handwriting?

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