My self-imposed handwriting refresher course: exchange the keyboard for a pen and paper! As a disclaimer beforehand, I still know how to write using a pen!
During my time in primary and secondary school, the computer was still not widely used for homework and assignments. We did attend computer lessons, learning to type using the Microsoft Word at that time and making simple PowerPoint presentations (with those cliparts and WordArt!). Nevertheless, in all exams and essay writings, the primary tool was still the trusted black/blue ball point pen.
And then gradually, we used the computer more and more; in my case from the beginning of my college days, when we had to submit our written assignments in properly typed, printed and bind form for professionalism purposes. As I study design, we still used pen/pencil and sketched on paper with occasional scribbles of notes, but normally for drawings and seldom for long, handwritten passages.
Soon, things like MSN Messenger, ICQ and similar programmes infiltrated our lives and before knowing it, communication became dominated by the keyboard. Less and less people write letters now as we could just type in an email and send it straight away; not to mention the convenience of deleting errors and the copy+past functions. We “write” on each other’s facebook wall but using keyboard instead of a pen.
One day I came across this website, MiniEco which is a blog with various simple DIY craft ideas. I was especially attracted to the text used in the annotations — while I knew that those are downloadable typefaces that mimicked handwritings, I cannot help but fall for its elegance.
I looked at my own handwriting and recalled how my mom used to tease me for my terrible handwriting; of course they are legible, but since my mom was a secretary and possesses great cursive handwriting, mine do not look as good! My dad can also write very well, hence I was the only black sheep in the family; although I was not really bothered by this fact since I would be using a lot of computer typing anyway.
I searched for cursive handwritings and the main image from Wikipedia displayed the alphabets in handwritten form. I decided to give it a go and, picking up a pen and a paper, I started to copy the lines and styles. I could not believe that this would actually got me addicted to writing cursives! At first I needed some time to think what the next alphabet looked like, but slowly I gained speed and control.
Gradually I started implementing cursive handwriting into my sketches. I noticed the significant improvement in the overall aesthetics compared to my previous pages before I started writing in cursive.
Once in a while, when I got bored from doing my assignments, I would just randomly select an article on Wikipedia and copied the text using cursive. I found it amusing that this simple practise could actually effectively keep me entertained until my hands tire! I still have a lot to improve as I still find myself stumbling on certain alphabet combinations on several occasions.
Annotating sketches and drawings became fun too!
I recalled the good old days when we could recognise our friend’s handwriting from their essays, but sadly all that I could see now are Arials and Verdanas. They said that one can actually see a person’s personality from their handwritings, but I guess it would be rarer nowadays. As for me, I hope that I could continue to seek enjoyment in this simple act of cursive handwriting!