How to Write Neatly

I love writing with a pen. Then again, that’s why I decided to create this post on how to write neatly If you’re like me who likes writing with pens, you probably cringe at the sight of your messy handwriting. Keep reading to find out how to make your handwriting neater!

We all know some people who’ve got messy handwriting. It’s not just some people, actually almost almost everyone has some form of messy handwriting (except for Montblanc). If you can relate, don’t freak out. Everybody was once like you. We all had to learn the skill of writing neatly. But do you know how to make my handwriting neater? I’ll tell you here.

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Why Would You Need to Write Neatly and Fast?

There are some instances when you will have to write very quickly, yet legibly. Students for example often face this dilemma during lessons. 

If you are studying, you will need to be able to listen and take notes at the same time. Often, the speaker will not slow down and it’s up to you to keep up. 

They may also have to increase handwriting speed when answering tests or exams. With limited time, they need to record their answers as fast as possible. Being able to write quickly could be the difference between a pass and a fail.

Another instance is when you have a flash of inspiration and need to jot it down quickly. 

Many creatives have this problem. They think of a brilliant idea and by the time they make a note, it’s forgotten. Quick handwriting skills would definitely come in handy in such situations. 

How to Write Neatly

1. Choose the correct writing tools.

Using the right kind of pen can greatly improve how you write. A poor quality pen can make a significant impact on your handwriting. There are several pen styles, each with benefits and setbacks.

The fountain pen uses liquid ink and has a flexible writing tip to allow stylized handwriting. While it delivers beautiful lines, a good fountain pen can be on the pricey side and it takes lots of practice to perfect the technique of writing with a fountain pen.

The ballpoint pen uses paste ink which many people find is not appealing in comparison with liquid ink. The ballpoint pen is the most used kind of pen as they can be extremely inexpensive and convenient.

With a ballpoint pen, you get exactly what you pay for and it may produce poor handwriting. It might be better to spend a little extra money to improve your handwriting.

Much like a ballpoint pen, the rollerball pen has a “ball” ink delivery system. Many people prefer to use it due to its high-quality liquid ink as opposed to the ballpoint’s paste ink. However, the rollerball pen does not last as long as the ballpoint does.

The gel ink pen uses gel ink that is thicker than liquid ink, which results in a smooth line and feel that is enjoyed by many. Gel ink pens are available in many different colors, but they dry out quickly and are not ideal in professional contexts.

The felt tip pen delivers ink using a felt tip. Many writers love its distinctive feel when drawn against paper- smooth, but with a little resistance. This pen is a good option if you are left-handed because the ink dries quickly so your hands won’t smudge the letters.

If you aren’t sure which type of pen to practice with, experiment with a couple of these to find one that works best for you.

The page that you write on should be smooth. Not rough as it will catch the tip of your pen or pencil and create snags in your letters, but not so smooth that your pen’s tip slides about without your control.

Use lined paper that suits the type of handwriting you are comfortable with. Use a wide-ruled paper if you write in large letters, and college-ruled if your writing is small. It’s important to note that in most professional contexts, adults are expected to write on college-ruled paper, but if you are young and still in school, feel free to use wide-ruled paper.

2. Develop a Good Writing Posture

The first step to developing a good writing posture is to find a good writing table or surface. If the writing surface is too high, you will be forced to hold your shoulders high, resulting in shoulder and neck pain.

If the surface is too low, you will develop the tendency to slump down and round your spine, which over time, may result in chronic pain and injury. Choose a table that allows you to bend your elbows comfortably at approximately 90 degrees when writing.

Once you have a writing surface that doesn’t force you to slump or hitch your shoulders up, you need to balance your body in a way that discourages your back, shoulder, and neck from bad posture.

Sit in your chair and have both feet flat on the ground. Sit up straight and keep your neck and back as straight as possible. The posture might be difficult to hold at first so take breaks from time to time. With time, the muscles will develop, and you will be able to hold a good posture for extended periods.

Keep your head as straight up as possible and cast your eyes down to look at the page while writing, instead of dipping your whole head down. The casting down of your eyes may still result in a slight head dip, but it should not be entirely hanging down toward the page.

3. Position Your Paper at an Angle.

Sit flush with the edge of the writing surface and turn the page until it is at an angle you find comfortable. The right position to put your paper is between 30 to 45 degrees. If you write using your right hand, the top of your page should point to your left and if you’re left-handed it should point to your right.

If you don’t know which angle works for you, as you practice writing, adjust the page you are writing to an angle that suits you and allows you to write neatly.

4. Stretch Your Hands Before Writing.

Since the rise of cell phones and computers there has seen a huge negative impact on handwriting. A survey conducted by Docmail show that about 33% of people find it hard to read their handwriting.

The frequency with which people write by hand has declined these days. If you don’t stretch your hands and fingers to prepare them for writing, which is a sudden increase in activity, your hand will soon cramp up.

When stretching, clench the hand you use for writing into a gentle fist and hold it for about thirty seconds. Then spread out your fingers wide stretching them for about thirty seconds. Repeat this exercise four to five times.

Proceed to bend down your fingers so that each tip touches the base of its finger joint where it meets the palm. Bend them for about thirty seconds and repeat four to five times.

Finally, place your hand on the table with your palm facing down. Lift each finger up with your other hand one at a time and stretch it, then lower it. Repeat this eight to ten times.

4. Hold your pen properly.

Many people choke the pen instead of softly grasping it. In a bid to gain control of your letter strokes, you will end up with a sloppy handwriting and a sore hand. The pen should be gripped lightly to allow a better motion range and enable letters to flow from your pen freely.

There are many ways to hold your pen or pencil correctly. Some place it against the index finger, middle finger, and the thumb, some rest the back of the pencil or pen on the base knuckle of the index finger, and others place it on the wedge between the thumb and the index finger.

Trying to force yourself to learn a new writing grip may be time-consuming, so go with what you find comfortable unless you find that your current grip is awkward and affects your writing quality negatively. It’ll work just fine as long as you use the thumb and the first two fingers.

5. Use Your Whole Arm When Writing.

Bad handwriting mostly results from a person using only his/her fingers to draw their letters. Good handwriting is accomplished by engaging muscles all through your arm, from your fingers to your shoulder, and the pen moving smoothly across the page instead of the start-and–end motion.

Your entire arm should act as the force behind your writing while your fingers act as the guide. If you do not engage your forearm and shoulders, your writing will be sloppy.

Move your arm smoothly across the page as you write instead of picking it up after every few words. Steady your wrist as much as you can. Your fingers should guide your pen to write different letter shapes while your forearm glides the hand across the page, but your wrist should not move very much.

6. Practice With Simple Circles and Lines

Using the proper hand position and writing motion, write a row of lines all the way across a lined sheet of paper. The lines should slant slightly to the right. On the next line of the page, write a row of circles, trying to keep them as even and round as possible. Practice the proper technique on your lines and circles for 5-10 minutes every day until you see in your pen control.

  • Focus on keeping your lines the same length and at the same angle. Circles should have uniform roundness across the board, be the same size, and should close cleanly.
  • At first, your lines and circles may seem sloppy. Your lines may be of varying lengths, they may not all be drawn at the same angle, etc. Some of your circles may be perfectly round, while others are more oblong. Some may close neatly, while others may have an overlapping hang-off where the pen mark ends.
  • Even though this activity seems simple, don’t be discouraged if your lines and circles are sloppy at first. Keep working at it for short periods of time on a regular basis, and you will see a distinct improvement with practice.
  • This increased control over lines and curves will help you shape clearer letters

7. Write Words, Sentences, And Paragraphs

Once you see you have grown comfortable with the shapes and sizes of your lines and circles and mastered pen control, move to writing actual words, sentences, and paragraphs.

First, choose a writing style that you are comfortable with- whether cursive or print. The most significant difference between the two writing styles is that in cursive writing, the letters are all connected by the pen stroke. If you find it hard to connect two letters naturally without thinking too hard about how they should look, then go for print writing.

Write the alphabet in staggered patterns, rotating them around to cover all the connections and to keep you from being bored. Try writing them from back to front, working to middle (z-a-y-b-x-c-w…) or from to back skipping one letter (a-c-e-g-i-k…).Come up with as many letter patterns as you like, and remember to focus thoughtfully on perfecting the connections between letters.

Once you get the hang of how it’s done, move on to words, sentences, and paragraphs. Keep the letters the same size and tall letters like “l”,”t,” etc. of the same height.

The sentence “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” is perfect to practice with if you want to perfect on every letter since it contains all the letters in the English language.

8. Seek Inspiration.

If you know someone that has beautiful handwriting watch them write and don’t be afraid to ask for pointers. If you cannot think of anyone to help, look at word processor fonts for inspiration on how to shape your letters.

If you are looking for hands-on inspiration for writing lessons, visit our pinterest page for ideas to help you achieve elegant penmanship. If you have children, practice with them and turn it into family bonding time.

9. Write by hand whenever possible

If you’re serious about improving your handwriting, you have to make a commitment to it. Although it may be tempting to simply take notes on a laptop or tablet rather than a pen and paper, your handwriting will begin to slip back into sloppiness if you don’t keep training your writing hand and arm.

  • Bring the techniques from your practice sessions into the real world: carry a good pen and pad of good paper with you; look for writing surfaces at an appropriate height; maintain good writing posture; hold the pen properly, with the page at a comfortable angle; and let your fingers guide the pen while your arms do the work of moving it across the page.

10. Be Patient.

Don’t rush your writing process. Focus on how much your handwriting has improved and not how untidy you think it is. Writing neatly takes time, but with more practice, you will get faster and better.

Write slowly taking your time to shape your letters perfectly. Speed will come with time. Remember, you have to learn to walk before you can run. Take as much time as you need to perfect your handwriting skills, and it will pay off in the end.


I’m sure you’ve heard it said before, but when it comes to handwriting, neatness definitely counts. Though you may have been able to get away with sloppily scrawled notes in school, the same will not be the case in a business setting. A neat and well-written resume can be a key factor in landing a new job or promotion. To do that, however, requires knowing how to write neatly with a pen.

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