Saturday, August 20, 2022

The Handwriting Dilemma

 Okay, I'm gonna admit something I hate about myself and about myself as a writer: I have terrible handwriting.

Don't get me wrong, I WANT to have perfectly neat and clear handwriting no matter if I'm taking notes while working with a patient or leaving a note for someone if I missed them. When someone hands me a pen and paper and tells me to "write it down" I panic, though. 

I consider myself a writer. I have been writing either by my typewriter or in spare notebooks since I was about 8-years-old. I also get insulted when people tell me that they can't read my writing when I have been careful and taken it slowly. But let me put it this way; my thoughts go quickly, my mind thinks on speed: FAST. If I try to write slowly, my letters are clear and spaced well, and the paper usually isn't arching off the surface because it's flat. I don't always get a flat surface to lay my notebook or sheet of paper onto. And when I'm focused heavily on making my handwriting beautiful and perfect, I sometimes can't remember what I was writing and can't finish the sentence. I can't do this when taking notes on clients, I have no choice but to write quickly, and I can't guarantee I can write clearly in this case.

When I got upset and frustrated by it, I looked up ways to correct my handwriting as an adult, and one of the reasons why it poor motor skills. I spent countless hours in my childhood with my mother trying to mold my hands into what she felt, as a teacher, were in the correct position for neat and legible handwriting. My mother raised hell over my messy handwriting when she reviewed my homework or left hand-written notes for her to come home to so she wasn't asking questions about where I was. Ironically, she brought over something I hand wrote as a child to read to me and to show me how bad my handwriting has gotten as an adult, claiming my handwriting is worse now. There have been people in my life who posted things like "Your mother must not have cared about you" when they see someone with messy handwriting and that really irritates me.  WRONG! My mother cared about my handwriting A LOT. She is low-key obsessed with it.

Why do I have messy handwriting? 

1. I don't always have a flat surface to lay a single sheet of paper on when I'm writing. Some notebooks have paper that sometimes bounces up after you lift the pen and the ink will smear on the page (like ones that aren't spiral-bound).
2. I write a lot of notes all day long, and when you write notes, you have to abbreviate and write quickly. When you write quickly, you grip the pen a lot harder and don't have time to pause the person you're noting so that you can slowly create a perfect line or loop.
3. My mind goes a mile a minute sometimes and if I stop to write slowly and controlled, I will forget my train of thought.
4. Typing is so much faster for me and the results are clearer (I don't know if this is a reason, but I rely on it more often than not).

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