Hate Your Handwriting?

Don’t let your bad handwriting stop you from sending handwritten cards, but you should fix it anyway. If you want to.


A handwritten card or letter is like music. There is something magical about it that connects us in a way that printed words cannot. Maybe it’s the fact that you have more evidence that the sender interacted with it directly. You can imagine them at their desk thinking about you as they write. Maybe it’s just that it requires a little more effort.


Whatever the reasoning I think we can all agree it’s true.  


A lot of us want to send more handwritten cards and letters but between reliance our phones and computers, chances are your penmanship is a bit out of practice. We are going to help you (and me…) get better at that. We have some great educational content in the works but I wanted to try and help in another way first.


Just stop stressing out about it. I want to improve my own penmanship for myself but let me tell you, I have been talking to dozens of people about this issue and figuring out who could help us on the education front. I realized that this is a burden most of us are carrying around. And by burden I don’t mean bad handwriting, I mean the worry or shame from our bad handwriting. 


So many of us are missing out on the magic of sending hand written love and support through the mail because we’re worried the person receiving it will judge us. Have you ever gotten a card telling you how important you were to someone and had bad thoughts about the sender because the writing was a little sloppy? Of course not. If you are like most people you probably felt relieved that someone you hold in such high esteem, that’s so smart and kind also has bad handwriting. 


I’m excited to finally spend some effort repairing my penmanship because I just like to get better at things. In the meantime, however, I’m also redoubling my efforts to put some more love and support in the world for people important to me and hope you will too. Because love is great and we could all use more if it right now, even if it’s a little sloppy.



1 comment

  • Josh, I could not agree more: the fountain pen does improve your handwriting. Why? Because it reveals who you really are. This is why we use our signature as a form of authentication for this reason. But there is more.

    A handwritten note or letter is a direct link between the author and the reader. Through the pen, what lays unseen in the heart and mind is made visible and real. Not only is the handwriting as unique to the individual as the signature, but it reveals the intensity and color of what we feel. The bold sweeping loop, the pensive jagged slash, the tiny compressed print all transmit more than just the words they spell out. The reader feels what you have to say. And you say it, forever. The hand written letter does not get deleted by accident. The file never is corrupted.

    A romantic e-mail may be nice to receive – but only a handwritten letter can begin to transmit the soul-consuming passion of love so intense, it borders on insanity. Such letters are saved and tied in careful bundles, tucked away where their fire can out live their author.

    The fountain pen is multilingual. Every color and type of ink is a different language with its own traits. In business, I used Noodlers Bulletproof Black. Its waterproof, forge proof and lasts for ever. For letters sent home from adventures, I use Levengers Cobalt Blue. Classic, intense and optimistic. For field notes taken during geologic expeditions, I use Polar Brown. It doesn’t freeze and it has the subtle authority of the slightly rusty shade of iron gall ink used in past ages.

    What is the best fountain pen? It is the one you can actually use. Most of my writing is not done with the $500 Old Style Rotring 600 with a gold nib – but with a practical pen that I can include in my EDC with no fear of losing it.

    James Lee O'Brien

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