More On Handwriting & Cursive

My last post seemed to garner a fair amount of interest and so I figured it would be good to cover some of the unspecified particulars that I left out of the previous post.

On Writing Cursive Left-Handed

I mentioned in the previous post that I write using a fountain pen (and occasionally with a dip pen). Given that, it may come as a surprise to some, but I am left handed. And while yes, writing with a dip pen does occasionally leave me with blackened palms from ink-smear, I've found this to be increasingly rare. It was certainly the case early on, but it's actually rare these days. Most modern inks dry incredibly quickly (so long as the right amount of ink lands on the page). That said I do end up with lots of ink on my fingers whenever I change the cartridges on my fountain pen.

I've also found that the amount of ink that smears on my hand went down now that I write in cursive. That may seem strange as cursive uses a lot more ink than print, but I think it has to do with the extreme bias I tend to write with. As I'm left-handed, I also tilt the page the wrong way. This helps with ink smear because I'm almost always writing on already dry text.

I tend to write on a 30-35° bias (32° is depicted here).

I was taught to write in the Zaner-Bloser cursive style as a kid and that's what I picked up again last year. As with all forms of handwriting, I've simplified my take on the style to be what I now consider to be a mix of Zaner-Bloser and the New American style which incorporate several print letters for capitals (ridding me of the annoying Zaner-Bloser F, G, H, and its uninspired A). None of these tweaks were born of me trying to adopt a formal style, instead each came from me tweaking my own style which happened to converge and resemble those above.

As part of this quest of mine, I spent a fair amount of time researching the history of cursive and its various styles. I learned a lot about how different techniques evolved and how the style I most recognize as "fancy, old-style cursive" (i.e. the Palmer Method) lost the battle mid-century to the style that I was taught as a kid. I still think the Palmer Method is cooler looking, but I have no interest in breaking my brain again to learn it.

On the Gear

Pen and paper on my desk

My daily driver.

As this is partly a techie blog, I'd be remis if I didn't talk about the gear I use, though it's not particularly exciting.

I use a wide variety of notebooks (some. are. linked. here), though most of the time I just write on cheap legal pads.

As for the pens I use, my daily driver is a Schneider Base Uni. I have two of them (one stocked with black ink and the other with blue which I rarely use).

For my dip pen, I really like this ink. It's nothing special but it's cheap and works well.

Now What?

I continue to write a fair amount each day, and like I mentioned in my other post, that's largely because I find it fun to do. I've ended up performing a sort of near-nightly ritual where I write about something, anything just to feel the pen in my hand and hear the scratch of nib on paper. Sometimes it's (bad) poetry other times it's just stream-of-conscious rambling. Most of what comes out is uninspired or repetitive, but some aren't! Some are (dare I say it) even good!

Writing for me has become a new hobby, something I do to unwind and de-stress. That's not something I expected, but it is what happened.

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