Most of my life I have had pretty decent handwriting. I am not talking about anything to win awards, but legible, even and pleasant writing. I never really took pride in it, but it was something I was conscious of. Recently I have noticed that my handwriting quality has digressed, quite a bit in fact. This is not an old age thing, it is more of a laziness thing I am afraid. I don’t want to say it is horrible, but it just isn’t up to what it used to be. I blame it on my ultra-use of computers. I can type like a speed demon but at the expense of my writing abilities.
I remember realizing later in my high school years that I never wrote in cursive, instead of writing almost exclusively in standard printing. I don’t remember when or why it happened, but I just quit writing in cursive. I think that may have been my first step in the degradation in my handwriting, though I did keep up writing in a decent style. I had an architectural drawing class my freshmen year, which helped truly up my form a bit as well. To this day, if I had to sit down and write a full paragraph in cursive it would look like a middle schooler because I would have to sit and think about every letter. The only thing I ever write in cursive is my signature.
Into college, I was writing plenty. Notes in class like a madman because I have always been one to get a lot more out of lecture than from reading the text. In fact, I picked up the technique to copy my notes again into a second notebook to help commit things to memory. Nifty, eh? All through this, I had a computer, but it was only a smaller part of my life.
Fast forward to post-college years. Now computers are a huge part of my life. It is my work as well as part of most of my hobbies. Photography – digital of course. Now blogging. I rarely find any reason or opportunity to write anything down. In fact, if I take notes, it is often on a laptop or even my Treo for a quick reminder. So as a result, my handwriting is getting worse and worse.
What I find really sad is that I have no handwriting endurance. Kind of sounds funny, but you know what I am talking about. I used to be able to take notes through several classes a day without difficulty. Now if I write more than a few paragraphs my hand aches like a bad bought of arthritis. That’s pretty pitiful.
I think this I am really taking note of it these days because my son is in second grade, and though he is a brilliant kid, his handwriting is terrible. He started with a bad hand position habit that we are still trying to break, and he writes just plain horrible. I did a little research before writing this post, and I was comforted to find the first Google search result for “bad handwriting” was an article attributing bad handwriting as a common problem in gifted young boys. Whether that is his situation or not, I’d like to think so. But as I encourage him to get better, I feel the need to get mine back in shape.
On an incidental note, 90% of the rest of the search results (for numerous pages of results) were articles about bad doctor’s handwriting leading to incorrect prescriptions and even avoidable deaths. At least my handwriting is just something for me to complain about and not alter or ending someone’s life!
I am not quite sure how I am going to do it, but I think I will try to do some writing exercises of some kind. I would like to find something useful to write though and not just write for the sake of writing. Have you experienced the same phenomenon? Any ideas?