For as long as I can remember I’ve disliked my handwriting. Its small, hard to read at the best of times and completely illegible when rushed. The only thing worse? – my spelling, punctuation and grammar.
With much of my work now consisting of creating newsletters, blogs, tweets and other company literature my role has helped me to confront my demons and with the aid of my keyboard, spell checker and one of my colleagues/office mum I’ve take some measure of control…. unfortunately this has never spilled over to my handwriting – until now.
A little history…
Last year while holidaying in Verona with my wife, we stumbled into Montblanc; A candy shop for the literate and right-handed among us. The staff were very accommodating – and, after perusing for a short while I made a selection of three exquisite pens I felt I could not live without. The pens were then taken to a desk, paper was laid out as you would expect to see at a food or wine tasting event. With pen in hand I turned to my wife, smiled, then began…
To my disgust my efforts looked more like an ink blot test than my name. I tried the other two in quick succession … no change.
There was nothing wrong with the pens, they felt comfortable, didn’t scratch the paper and the weight and balance were perfect… I was the problem, or at least my left hand!
A little bemused I made my excuses and we left the shop…pen less. Told my wife that I would get one when the time was right, but that was a lie…mainly to myself. Hayley knew if I’d really set my heart on one, we would have left the shop owners of a new hobby, several nibs a vat of ink and a carton of paper – no doubt would have taken the extended warranty too.
I also made a pledge that day…one day we would return to Montblanc – and get my pen!
Full of determination upon our return home I bought a fountain pen, several italics and got to work. For Xmas even got two identical handwriting books, nothing made a marked improvement. Writing with italics didn’t have the desired effect no matter how I held the pen or what position the paper was placed in – the results were always the same. Faced with a dilemma and using my own unique logic I came up with the only option that made sense… I would become ambidextrous!
Pens have been created to work in harmony for the right handed for just shy of 130 years thanks to Mr waterman. And as changing the left to write style adopted by the entire county didn’t seem a like quick fix, moving to another country a tad excessive, this was my only route to salvation.
Two months on…
…There’s a Victorian copperplate hand writing template hanging in the office, several pads full of scribbles, not to mention bin liners full of discarded A4 and pencil shavings (I don’t trust myself with a pen just yet) and in the midst of all this, the start of something legible, finally progress!
Two months in (August 2013) , exhibit A:
The journey to be continued….