I am a writer who can’t write. If you ever saw my actual handwriting, the jig would be up. I’ve written books, and sometimes I inscribe them for people, and when I do, it looks like I’ve defaced my own work. One time, I made a mistake while signing a reader’s book and had to do that thing where you write a darker, thicker letter over the mistake letter to cover your tracks. My tracks were not covered. If anything, I made it worse.
I skip letters by accident. I reverse them on occasion. I can’t read notes I’ve jotted down and have to guess at what I was thinking back when I scribbled what appears to be “twanny ferl gumpdump” in my notebook right before bedtime. My children, ages eight to 14, ALL have nicer handwriting than mine. My penmanship is an embarrassment. Have a look for yourself:
I can’t tell you why my handwriting is so bad. It could be because I was too lazy to ever learn how to do it properly. It could be because I skipped third grade in elementary school, which sounds like a brag until you see the aftereffects of me skipping past formal cursive instruction. It could be in my bloodline. It could be because modern technology has, in theory, rendered longhand writing a needless anachronism. (Studies prove this is NOT true and that handwriting is vital to cognitive development.) There are many potential causes but no viable excuses.
Technically, I could have lived with it forever. I’d gotten this far writing everything like a doctor signing a Xanax prescription, and if I wanted to, I could keep on having shit penmanship until my last breath. But I didn’t want to, because I began to see my scribbles as a representation of myself.
How to Write 10,000 Words a Week
The most productive writers know that writing is only one step in a larger process
Your writing can be the first impression people get of you. That writing is…