How to improve your writing

In this time and age when writing is slowly going extinct, it's good to remind us all how important it is to write our own letters, memories, meeting agendas and even thank-you cards.

Handwriting skills

In this time and age when writing is slowly going extinct, it's good to remind us all how important it is to write our own letters, memories, meeting agendas and even thank-you cards.

Good penmanship is an important skill to have. And while you don’t need to be a professional calligrapher, everything from penning a simple grocery list to filling out medical forms requires -- at the very least--legible handwriting. Here, six easy ways to shape up that chicken scratch.

1.) Write a paragraph every day

Maybe it’s catchy song lyrics--or perhaps it’s the intro to your favorite book. Whatever it is, practice writing it over and over again until the words start to look neater. Keep it all in one notebook so that you can flip back easily and chart your progress.

2.) Use lined paper

But make sure the lines aren’t too narrow, as you want to be able to see everything clearly while practicing. The lines will act as a guide to keep everything at an even height and size.

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3.) Get a nice pen

Whether you prefer a standard ballpoint or a fine-tipped gel, use a pen that doesn’t require too much pressing down to write smoothly. Comfort-wise, your best bet is a medium-width and slightly shorter pen. Too skinny or thick, and you’ll end up compensating with your grip--which will compromise your writing. On that note…

4.) Loosen your grip

You might think that having a tighter grip on your pen would give you more control, but it will just fatigue your hand faster--making your letters look stiff and stilted. Relax your grip and let the letters flow across the page.

5.) Slow down

Just like when you talk too fast, writing too quickly can make it harder for people to decipher what you’re trying to say. For now, it’s more important to pace yourself and focus on each letter to produce consistent results. Speed will come naturally as you get better.

6.) Nail down a pen pal

And by this we mean, start writing your grandma more often. She’ll totally appreciate handwritten updates over emails or texts.

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