01-27-2014, 02:19 PM
#1
  • celar36
  • Enjoying Life 1 shave at time
  • London, UK
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Hi,

I thought I will not hijack SharpSpine thread.

I am left handed who's writing is terrible. I need some think to help me practice legibility( or some nice decent font) and I need good fountain pen or ball pen. I do need to write by hand a lot so any advice will be appreciated. I do a lot of smear, my left hand tend to get ink on 4 and 5th fingers.

I really like Mont Blanc pens and when I tested then I like NIB size M but I tend to write in very small size font

Thanks!

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 01-27-2014, 02:33 PM
#2
  • krissy
  • Active Member
  • Cando, North Dakota
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practice, practice and more practice.... just writing anything and everything. Perhaps a journal to help with penmanship. My cursive writing tends to be a bit more sloppy (lack of better term) than my printing. So I choose to print more than cursive.

But I really think that practicing writing really helps, it's the only way. For my son (he turned 13 this past November) that has severe ADHD and aspergers (among other things) a fountain pen has made a big difference for his penmanship. It's usually so unreadable that often times his para writes for him what he verbalizes. His letters can also be up to 2 inches tall, but when he uses a fountain pen (VS another pen or a pencil) he writes much neater and smaller because if you don't hold it correctly it simply doesn't write.

Perhaps working on how you hold your pen can help as well. I know how hard that is, but if you have that hook it can help with strain as well when writing for long periods of time. Easier said than done, but baby steps, working for small amounts of time to straighten your wrist. When I was in elementary our schools headmaster took a bunch of us lefty's to give personal penmanship classes to. I was one of them. I took this video some time ago for the nook....

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 01-27-2014, 02:37 PM
#3
  • celar36
  • Enjoying Life 1 shave at time
  • London, UK
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It is a good point. I need to take picture tomorrow of my handwriting as it looks like 7 years old.child I was at some point warned by teachers in high school( years ago) that I might fail my A-Levels due my writing they score me zero. Luckily I passedSmile

I have a small notebook (moleskine) from my wife to write everything there rather then on computer to practice.

I can write decently but then a each letter takes long time and I mean long time. If you observe during writing lets say 1 page from beginning is better and then progress to worst slowly...

my hand goes exactly from left to right following letters. As this is most comfortable for me. I will try your angle

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 01-27-2014, 02:44 PM
#4
  • freddy
  • Banned
  • San Diego, California, U.S.A.
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Jack, try starting off with a fine or extra fine nibbed fountain pen. The extra fine, in particular, may not write as smoothly as other nibs but because less ink is coming out onto the page, that ink tends to dry faster and that may help somewhat with your smudging problem.

Also, the type of paper you use may help. With a more absorbent paper, the ink will tend to dry faster.

Another thing, if I may. It really isn't necessary to spend a lot if you will be practicing your penmanship. As I mentioned to Brian (SharpSpine), you are just testing the waters so start off with something inexpensive to see how you can control left handed writing without dragging your fingers over wet ink.

I see you live in the United Kingdom. The pens I sent to Brian I purchased at The Works in Scotland. They don't always have them on hand but if they do (and I would ask as sometimes they are behind the counter) and you have one of those shops near you, then for £1.00-£2.00 you really have nothing to lose. They are certainly not great beauties but for practice sessions they'll get the job done.

Another source for an inexpensive pen might be Rymans if there is one close to you. Keep in mind that in neither of these places will you get much hands-on help but it is certainly worth looking into.

With Phil NH5, Krissy, Brian, and other left handers here, I hope they'll chime in with their experiences. Good luck to you, Jack, and keep us posted.

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 01-27-2014, 02:48 PM
#5
  • krissy
  • Active Member
  • Cando, North Dakota
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the writing could change from the beginning of the page to the end just because of wrist strain if you are writing with the classic left hand hook. But for me I do that as well if I don't focus on what I am writing as well. So just flat out paying attention helps as well, at least for me that is.

But the only way to get rid of that smearing bit is to work on straightening the wrist out when writing. Which isn't something easily overcome, but it can be with practice.

But finding how you are most comfortable writing as well, printing or cursive as well then going with that. That's why I most often print things just because my cursive isn't my favorite. Even just writing the alphabet may help as well with a pen that you like. But the pen and paper makes a big difference as well.

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 01-27-2014, 02:51 PM
#6
  • celar36
  • Enjoying Life 1 shave at time
  • London, UK
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Thanks I will look into it. Also I need to find some book about fonts to practice.

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 01-27-2014, 02:52 PM
#7
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think like shaving:
- go slowly
- keep the angles the same
- keep the strokes the same hight (use lined paper)

go through the alphabet and numbers one by one. which letters and numbers can easily by mixed up? change these permanently to make them legibly.

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 01-27-2014, 03:00 PM
#8
  • celar36
  • Enjoying Life 1 shave at time
  • London, UK
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I am think this as my start. Which Nib I should try F or LH( special left handed?) Any other proposition?

this is example. I can have this pen cheaper via other source.

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 01-27-2014, 03:04 PM
#9
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i would say - dare i - start with an ordinary pencil Blush

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 01-27-2014, 03:05 PM
#10
  • celar36
  • Enjoying Life 1 shave at time
  • London, UK
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(01-27-2014, 03:04 PM)tonsorius Wrote: i would say - dare i - start with an ordinary pencil Blush

Pencil is different story as I just never like them. At the minute I use Pilot Ball point. reason I want use FP is also to keep in mind smudging problem which with pencil I will ignore.

this one as I work in Waste Management one of clients gave it to me http://www.toner-ink-cartridge.co.uk/pro...pack-of-10

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 01-27-2014, 03:21 PM
#11
  • freddy
  • Banned
  • San Diego, California, U.S.A.
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Jack, you might consider looking on line for worksheets. Some are geared towards the left hander. Below is some help from IAMPETH and is worth a look.

http://www.iampeth.com/lessons_left-handed.php

Here is a post that I pulled from the IAMPETH site:

http://www.nibs.com/Left-hand%20writers.htm

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 01-27-2014, 03:31 PM
#12
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alright. but you can use a pen with ink and softer paper (as freddy suggests) that dries almost instantly. that is really helpful.

you will also benefit of making repeating patterns - such as waves - dots - short strokes and else - and try keeping a rythm to make even spacing.

/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/
• - • - • - • - • - • - • - • - •
/ / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / /
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


(just a side note: when i make calligraphy i usually don't come into contact with the paper at all - my arm and hand are completely in the air and brush held vertically at all time. yet i can write small letters even with a big brush loaded with enough ink to write many lines of words. in addition the ink can take a long time to dry. but nothing of this came overnight. first it went slowly and uneven - and only after a long time was it becoming better.)

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 01-27-2014, 03:35 PM
#13
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I was reading the iampeth website the other night. I can see myself spending a good bit of time on there. I like the information they have and how it is presented.

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 01-27-2014, 03:55 PM
#14
  • Elendil
  • Raggedy man, good night
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Jack, I'm a righty and my handwriting was truly a disaster. When I started using FPs a couple of years ago, I found myself taking more care (not necessarily more time) when I wrote, and my writing became infinitely more legible. You can't crush the nib against the page like you can with a ballpoint, and the lighter touch gives me more control.

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 01-27-2014, 05:59 PM
#15
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Jack,
I am a lefty. As pointed out smearing is just something to be aware of.

I did a post on the Smear Factor. As Krissy noted the pen nib, paper and ink all play a role.

Clinton posted a link to Gentlemans Gazette on Pg 64 of "The Fountain Pen Thread". In there was a link to left handed writing with a fountain pen. I watched that video. They teach the "underwriting" technique that Krissy shows in her vid. I tried vary hard to teach that to myself. It was un-natural and hurt! So after a week of intensive struggle I gave up.

I have found the following to help for smearing and legibility:
1.Fine nib and good ink on good paper.

2.Use a 4x4" piece cut from glossy magazine stock under my writing hand. The glossy stock glides over the ink without smearing. My sweaty left hand does not contact the freshly written ink.

3. I have poor penmanship. I only use blank paper to write on. I find that writing larger helps make my handwriting more legible. I f I used lined stationery I write smaller and it is harder to read. The smaller writing smears more as well.

4. You mentioned slow writing as a fault. But my writing becomes more legible if I force myself to slow down and think about the letters I am forming and how the attach to the next letter in the word.

You are getting lots of good input. Hope some of it helps.

One last thought. I equate use of a FP to wet shaving. An older more elegant way to accomplish a task. It may take more time than the modern appraoch but to me it is worth it.

Phil

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 01-30-2014, 02:37 PM
#16
  • celar36
  • Enjoying Life 1 shave at time
  • London, UK
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Lamy FP with LH Nib ordered

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 01-30-2014, 03:15 PM
#17
  • freddy
  • Banned
  • San Diego, California, U.S.A.
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(01-30-2014, 02:37 PM)celar36 Wrote: Lamy FP with LH Nib ordered

That's great, Jack. Please keep us posted on how it goes. Happy writing! Thumbsup

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 01-31-2014, 12:06 AM
#18
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I'm another lefty here. You'll get used to it Jack. I just hook a little and with a little practice, my trusty Parker 25 write great and smoothly.

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 01-31-2014, 02:23 AM
#19
  • celar36
  • Enjoying Life 1 shave at time
  • London, UK
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Thanks!

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 01-31-2014, 06:11 AM
#20
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(01-27-2014, 02:19 PM)celar36 Wrote: Hi,

I thought I will not hijack SharpSpine thread.

I am left handed who's writing is terrible. I need some think to help me practice legibility( or some nice decent font) and I need good fountain pen or ball pen. I do need to write by hand a lot so any advice will be appreciated. I do a lot of smear, my left hand tend to get ink on 4 and 5th fingers.

I really like Mont Blanc pens and when I tested then I like NIB size M but I tend to write in very small size font

Thanks!

Jack, in response to your thread " who's writing is terrible " I think we all are partially responsible for this including myself....... Since the advent of technology, Computors, Smart Phones, tablets etc etc.

We nearly all have lost the art of hand writing either with a Fountain pen, Ball pen or pencil due to the never ending use of technology. Which into to-days
environment is the norm. On our smartphones you now have pre-dictive text !!!

As for your comments, as others have commented it will great better with practice and your choice of a first starter FP is a great start.

Hope you enjoy.

Charles U.K

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