It’s nearly December. I know you’re probably dreading writing out and addressing your Christmas cards. “My handwriting is so awful,” you think to yourself. If I may suggest — steer clear of printing out EVERYTHING. It can feel really impersonal to the recipient. If you do nothing more than sign your name, at least do that. With a real pen. (Post coming soon on what to write inside those cards besides your name!) In the meantime, here are some tips on how to improve your penmanship:
1. Slow down
Yes, you’re in a hurry to get those bajillion cards out the door. Maybe the kids are tearing down the tree as you write or your husband is determined to short out the power with Christmas lights. But you’ll find that if you just s.l.o.w d.o.w.n as you write, concentrate on what you’re doing, you’ll see instant results.
2. Write in cursive
You know those curvy letters they taught you as a kid? Yeah, they still exist. Use them. One, they look more elegant and pretty than print. But two, because of all the loops and curves, it’s easier to mask imperfections in your writing style. (*Note: If you’re more comfortable writing in print, then I’m sure someone would rather receive a printed note from you than nothing at all.)
3. Use the right pen
If you don’t write with a fountain pen every day, now’s probably not the time to start. Use something you’re comfortable with. Sure, that means use something that feels comfortable in your hand, but it also means to use a pen that reflects you. I know this sounds silly, but there are just some pens that make me happier than others. Pretty ones, gifted ones, super-smooth-ink ones make me feel more dedicated to my writing task than the chewed ballpoint I accidentally grabbed at the doctor’s office.
4. Write big
Literally. Not humongous. But bigger than your usual chicken scratch. Especially if you’ve heeded my advice from No. 2 and are writing in cursive, you can achieve big, flowy, beautiful letters. Small and scrunchy words are only going to look worse. Give your writing space to breathe. Plus, you have the added benefit — if you’re really worried about your handwriting — that writing big means you can write less.
5. Put your heart into it
Whether you’re sending Christmas cards or random ones throughout the year, sit down. Make yourself comfortable. Relax. Think about what you’re going to say. It’s likely that your card’s recipient will be keeping this memento for a long time. Imagine they pull it out next year to show to a friend how great you are. You want it to look nice (for you and for them).
So there you have it. Five quick ways to improve your handwriting. But whether your penmanship is beautiful or not, it’s really the thought behind your letter that counts. Take the time to sit down and WRITE. And remember, practice makes perfect.
Of course it always helps to pick the perfect card to write in.