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AndroiDad75's Journal to Better Penmanship

I think I am getting "journal fever" :lol: I have one in the straight shaving clinic area, the honing area and now one here. I find they help me keep all my thoughts/mistakes/successes in one place. And hey, what's better than a journal in the Nib forum. Does it get any more apropos?

Last month I had a bright idea that I wanted to write my wife a letter for our anniversary. You see, I wrote a letter to my wife on the day we were married and this is our 10th Anniversary. I thought it would be great for me to write another letter, and get the 2 letters framed, for her this year. Problem is, I have horrible handwriting :blushing:. I decided that it was high time I get that rectified. And what better inspiration to make sure I do it.

Following this hair brained idea, I decided to start doing research on how to make my penmanship less embarrassing. What better place to start, than our very own Nib section :thumbup: Well that got me researching different pens, papers, etc... Boy this rabbit hole goes every bit as deep, if not deeper, than SR hones:scared:.

I thought I got a couple of pretty good starter FP's, a couple of resources on possible penmanship books, etc... and posted a topic here asking for some recommendations/help. I got tons of great feedback and was ready to pick up a Pilot Metropolitan when I got a very kind offer, from a very generous member, for a FP PIF. He PIF'd me a Sheaffer Admiral lever filler with a bottle of Noodlers American Eel Black ink. Needless to say I was blown away by the generosity of this forum, yet again. The shipment showed up and I got 'em filled up.

Today, I wrote a few sentences down with my normal work pen - showing what my penmanship looks like today. I then did a few sentences using the Sheaffer - my very first time ever laying FP to paper.


As you can see from the top version, you can see the chicken scratch I have to deal with. My hand starts cramping as I am writing, even after only writing that little bit. I think I have too strong of a grip on it, and mainly use my wrist to write.

The sentences in the Noodlers ink look better, but part of that is due to the fact that I have never used a FP before, and was going really, really slowly, trying to figure out how to hold it and write with it.

I am going to go through the palmer method to try to help my penmanship.

So there you have it. My very first entries into this journal - showing the pre-FP and 1st FP attempts. I will probably upload a picture of some scribbling from time to time. I haven't figured out if I want to do a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly upload. I am thinking maybe a weekly one, to try to keep me on target of a better letter come September. Along the way I will take any advice you have to share!!!
Thanks Joe!!!

I forgot to mention. I picked up a Black 'n Red notebook, and I am going to keep a journal - writing down a little bit about each day. It's another way for me to keep writing and hopefully get better.
I have been keeping a journal since June, and have been working to improve my handwriting with every entry. If you take your time
and follow all the guidance available on this forum, you will notice a steady improvement.
Keep at it, practice makes perfect.
Well I started looking at the Palmer Method book and decided to do the first lesson. Here is that lesson


Doing some lines and then some circles.

Well I decided to do it with a regular pen first:


Then I decided to do it with the Sheaffer:


Well as you can see from my samples, I have some work to do. :lol:

It is quite foreign to use the arm above my elbow to write. I am so used to using my wrist/fingers, etc... that this is going to take some time. I will probably keep working on this for a few days, and hopefully it will get better.
Rob, thank you for posting the results of your first Palmer drills. I will be keeping an eye on your thread. I'm in a very similar position. I write left-handed and am largely happy with my penmanship. My biggest frustration is the ever-present risk of ink smear as a move across the page. I'm experimenting with a few different grips, and I'm using these same drills to practice. I'd have never thought it was so difficult to make straight lines and circles!

Oddly enough, I find the repetition of the drills rather relaxing. Do you find that as well?

The biggest thing I've found so far that improves (or at least doesn't degrade) my handwriting is to not try to write too fast. When I'm doing letters I find myself trying to write as fast as I often talk... which is way too fast (and many will testify, just too much in general). It's another case of a marathon, not a sprint. :)
It's been a while since I posted here, but I wanted to give a bit of an update. I started a journal for myself, which gets me writing more. I am attempting the first couple of the Palmer drills, and I wrote my first letter in a number of years.

Here is a shot of my Palmer Drill 2

As you can see, I still need some work on the tightness of the vertical lines, and the way I make my circles.

It's really been a learning experience, and I won't be ashamed in saying a bit difficult, for me to figure out how to write with the large muscles, like the Palmer method wants you to. I have been writing with my fingers/wrists for so many years, that it feels completely foreign. Not unlike when I started using a straight razor. I know it's muscle memory at this point, but I am a bit impatient :lol:

I also grip the pen like my life depends on it. When I finished my letter, my hand was cramping and uncomfortable :blushing:

I really, really want to move on to making the letters in the Palmer method, but I don't think I am completing the first 2 drills well enough yet. It's killing me, but I am going to force myself to stay with these first 2 drills until I have something that looks somewhat close to the manual.

For those of you who have been through this, is that the correct thing to do at this point?
Glad to see an update, Rob! One day I'll start working on improving my handwriting, so it's nice to see what to expect.
Hey, your handwriting is almost legible in the above pic. I think you're trying to say something along the lines of "I, I, I, I, I, Oh Oh ooooooooh, I, I, Oh-oh, oh"
Have you played with the snorkel yet?
Hey Sam!

Yeah I have played with it a little. It's a really nice pen. It was super easy to fill and it writes very nicely.

I am not sure if I didn't fill the Admiral enough, but it doesn't write as "smoothly" as what the snorkel does.

I used up the last of the ink in each pens today, practicing, so I will be re-filling both tomorrow. I am going to make sure I get that Admiral loaded up good.
Yes, remember how I said I thought that the Admiral was a little scratchy.... and then it ran out of ink :lol:
Keep it filled while you're scribbling away and you'll have lots of fun!

Any stained fingers or other mishaps yet? Inquiring minds want to know!
Yeah, I guess I never did update after my first attempt at filling the pen.

That was interesting. I thought, oh this isn't too bad. I kept my hands away from the ink, nothing spilled, so I was all good, right?

Well I have no idea how, but I had ink on my fingers and palm. That stuff just travels. I swear all I did was take the lid off, and never touched the sides of the bottle when loading, but somehow I ended up with a ring on my palm. I didn't even need to use my palm to open the bottle. I think I ended up in the Twilight Zone.

The neat thing was I loaded them up at work at the kitchenette area, and I had a few people come by and they were like I remember my Dad had one of those, or a few of the older Admins actually owned a few at one time. Everyone who saw what I was doing thought it was cool that I was loading my own ink. Of course, each and every one of them, wanted nothing to do with ever writing with a FP, but they thought it was cool. :lol:
Well I filled the pens this morning. It wasn't a great idea to wear a light colored shirt that is brand new. That being said, I was able to keep the ink from killing a new shirt.

Although, my hand/fingers were not so lucky :lol:

I did some more practice with Drill 2. It looked about the same as the last picture, maybe a touch better, so I will spare you all another picture, until it's a ton better, or I move on to the next drill.
I try to remember and put on latex gloves before I do a refill. I always have a box in the kitchen to keep onion and garlic stink off my hands when I'm chopping them.
Oh, I did embrace it. I embraced it all day. :syn: :lol:

I am just glad it wasn't red ink, or a few of my co-workers would of thought I was Dexter :death:
practice doesn't make perfect....perfect practice makes perfect....

in the manuals you will see them almost turning sideways to the desk so you can get you arm on top of the desk/table....three points of contact...the elbow, the wrist and the pen tip....relax you arm...keep your elbow close to your body, don;t sprawl out....most people will not open their "O" ....if you have to, measure and put some pencil mark on paper so you know how wide to make your circles...learn to stop your pen on a straight line without putting a hook on it....hooks usually ean you are trying to complete the mark too quickly and not in good form....over time you will develope speed...just keep it fun...

at work they volunteer me to mark the prices on the windshields of cars, because I do it better than anyone else....i hate doing it, because I have other selling related activities to do....but I still knock them out in a short while...
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