Handwriting Envy.

You can have a nice car, a huge house, a designer handbag and fingers dripping with diamonds and not even one spark of jealousy will fly from me towards you. But if you have nice handwriting? Please know there is a part of me that hates you.

If I’m just taking notes for myself quickly my handwriting is illegible to anyone but me. If I take my time and try to make it legible, it’s okay but it’s never consistent and never pretty. My handwriting varies greatly depending on the pen or the paper or the angle of which I’m sitting. Sometimes my mood changes my handwriting as sometimes I print more than I use cursive and other times I like all caps or all lowercase. But still…no matter what mood or variation…it’s never pretty.

I’ve considered trying those wonderful monthly handwriting challenges that people like boho berry do but I am not great about committing to month long projects.

While watching TV the other night I decided to use a John Green quote from a commencement address he gave last weekend and practice some handwriting and all it did was make me frustrated.


I find there are certain words I like, or certain letters inside certain words, but then there’s tuff like capital “I” that frustrate me no matter what. And I can’t ever make my writing consistent. I tried, and I did an okay job repeating that one line, eventually it all looked the same. But only becuase I had the previous line to go by. It’s like I can’t even remember my own handwriting!

I do like the final version of “You must be weak before the world” and eventually got into my groove, but then I went on the page before and did my favorite Whitman quote and got frustrated all over again. And then I decided I liked print better.

What are your thoughts on handwriting? Is it important it looks consistent? I see some of your spreads and pages on instagram and I love them because the handwriting is so lovely and uniform but I’m not sure I’m capable of that. I’m okay with the fact that my handwriting will never be beautiful, but I would love for it to be consistent but I’m not sure, even if I did ALL of the handwriting prompts, I could ever settle into something consistent as my moods/pens/writing position is never consistent.

And how dorky am I for even spending more than 30 seconds on this topic?

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  1. Anna B says:

    I know the struggle so well! Personally, I’ve trained myself to write legibly and neatly but I have to take forever to do it, and scribbling down notes makes it look much worse. I wish I could have handwriting like the beautiful instagram studygram posts have.

  2. Kimberly says:

    I could have written this myself!!! I have the same envy…I also envy people who sing well. LOL!!

  3. I think you’re in far more company than you’d think. I stumbled back into the bullet journal community while trying to find a system for improving my handwriting several months ago. I bought Fix It Write, then the Spencerian Script set, and handwriting books meant for grades 3-5. I tried printing out different paper ruling and using French Ruled notebooks. And I got increasingly frustrated as nothing seemed to stick. I could do the practice until my hand fell off, but when I needed to write something down, especially in a rush, my nearly-40 years of “my writing” is what appeared on the page. I tried every type of pen, and those made no difference, either. So I eventually decided I’m just gonna have to try to like my handwriting for what it is – unique, disorganized, inconsistent. Besides, it’s what you’re writing that is important, not how it looks to others.

  4. tishushu says:

    I’ve done the rockyourhandwriting challenge for 3 months now and my regular handwriting has slightly changed. But I totally understand how you feel about this! All the pretty, consistent, clean handwriting of the bujo faves gets me miffed! But I choose to work on it.

  5. There was a video by poketfullofvintage on Youtube about pens and your penmanship. It’s what makes you ‘you’ just like your finger prints. If you want to work on brush script as a creative outlet, then go for it, but don’t try to force changing your handwriting/script. Personally, I LOVE seeing your cryptic, abbreviated daily entries in your bullet journal. I’ve been doing the same thing lately. I was getting too bogged down with the details. I knew what they meant and it was all that mattered.

    I know there are those in the bullet journal community that keep beautifully neat journals that look awesome in photos. But the purpose of mine is for my eyes first and foremost and photo ops second – that is, if people enjoy looking at my sometimes manic script!

    Again, I love your handwriting because I can look at it without seeing whose post it is and know it’s you – it’s like your calling card. However, if you feel that uncomfortable with it, then practice away.

  6. Kimberly Brookes says:

    I love handwriting. Cursive can be so beautiful. I am a lover of writing by hand so I write always everything, anything. Lol.. I will rewrite magazine articles just to practice my cursive. Now thats funny.. Even know I feel obsessed with writing I also feel it is very important for all of us. Because as we age we forget we get shakey, and our motor skills arent that great. I want to always be able to hand write and never forget how.. Ty for letting me share, Dork #2 lol

  7. Janet says:

    I love that you wrote this post, thank you for sharing. That being said, I’m probably one of the people you hate! :-). I’m told that I have beautiful writing, I get asked to ink names on certificates and make signs and the like. BUT! I didn’t used to like my writing -it was crappy, and chose to work on it and still do. I find that the pen I use is singlehandedly the most important influence. I can make a beautiful, scripty letter J with a fountain pen, a sharpie marker, a staedtler fineline, but gel pens and ballpoints… It’s gonna look like crap. Try using a broader tip pen or a happy color cheap calligraphy marker and pick a letter to work on and improve. Pen makes all the difference! 🙂

  8. Michelle Best says:

    I’m lucky I get comments about how nice my handwriting is, all I can say is practice.
    I had handwriting lessons at school from age 7 – 11, using a fountain pen & proper ink (no cartridges). I do notice though that my writing still changes depending on what pens I use.

  9. MrsDragon says:

    As a kid all those endless dittoes bored me, so I used then to fine tune my handwriting. Not top scare anyone, but I wad in college before I had a handwriting which I liked well enough, which I could write reasonably quickly with. And it still looks like crap if I get going to quickly or am tired. We write so often and our old habits are so ingrained that it takes a long time to make changes. I found working on one letter at a time was useful, as was considering it an experiment. If I didn’t like it, I dropped it.

    1. MrsDragon says:

      As you can see, I haven’t put nearly as much effort into training my auto correct properly….

  10. Uggghhh same. I do find that I generally write more neatly with a thinner pen, but not *too* thin (so like 0.5 mm, I think). And when I’m feeling frustrated, my handwriting skills just go down the drain because I’m too angry to spend time actually making it legible.

    1. But the funniest thing is that my friends will see my beautiful calligraphed (I’ll just make that a word) titles and headers and my actual handwriting underneath. It’s an interesting juxtaposition, to say the least.

  11. Hope says:

    Now I’m tempted to start posting photos of my bullet journal spreads, in all their messy glory, so those of us with less than artistic handwriting get some online recognition 🙂

  12. adorkelble says:

    I’m with you. My handwriting floats between all caps to connected all caps (an engineering skill) to a nice print to a print/cursive combination to a cursive/print combination – and all with varying degrees of legibility. I just remind myself that I once heard (so goodness knows the veracity of my memory) that JFK had six or seven different distinct hand writing modes. So, I’ve got notable company at least.

  13. Rebecca says:

    Perhaps I was fortunate in that I learned Italic Script in High School. It is all about slowing down and forming each stroke fully at a 45 degree angle.

    Take a breath. Make a stroke. Keep doing that over and over. As with all things, it is all about the practice.

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