I have an upcoming exam for a business module of my degree. It’s 3 hours long written exam. When our lecturer told us about it, I didn’t think much of it to be honest. The it dawned on me: I haven’t hand-written anything at length it over 10 years – apart from the odd letter – 2 sides max. My first primary school was a state primary school, which I believe is still going 30 years on. I moved to a private school, St Joseph’s Convent, and I remember practising my handwriting at length, special ‘penmanship paper’, but I was really behind the other pupils – I couldn’t write cursively.

Indeed, I learned to write cursively eventually but after fracturing my little finger in secondary school (before I learned to punch properly!), I reverted to print form. People do comment I have nice hand-writing and I do enjoy calligraphy but achieve legible writing takes me ages. Writing does not feel natural to me like typing (although I can only touch type if I’m not paying attention – as soon as I realise I am touch typing, I fumble).

I have to ‘go back to school’ to learn to write again – not for attractive writing but to be able to write legibly at speed. My girlfriend handed me this from the school she is a TA at:

Okay, it was useful but I needed something more back to basics so I bought a copy of ‘Improve Your Handwriting: Teach Yourself’ (Rosemary Sassoon, G. Se. Briem). Excellent book and transformed my handwriting in the two weeks running up to my exam. My one take away message from the book that will improve handwriting, if you have difficulties, is that writing is like painting – but with a finer brush. The whole arm and shoulder should be involved in handwriting – do not limit the muscles involved to the fingers and wrist.

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