How To Write Without Lifting The Pen: 8 Fun Exercises

Whether you want to improve your cursive writing or want to create unique art, there are multiple reasons why you might want to learn how not to lift your pen. Though most of us learn to write in cursive in school, the way we wrote back then doesn’t always look good. So, how can you write without lifting the pen? Are there exercises to help you practice?

One of the most used exercises for practicing writing or drawing without lifting the pen is drawing a circle in a box. By positioning your hand on a paper with an inch-by-inch square drawn on it, you can practice moving only your fingers to draw a circle, spiral shape, or a number 8.

Some of the exercises discussed below may seem a bit strange or redundant. However, these exercises can help you write and draw better and can help you learn how to do so without lifting the pen. Some of these exercises focus on writing and drawing, but both help you improve the same techniques and help you write in cursive.

1. Circle In A Box Exercise

As seen above, this is just one of the most frequently used exercises to improve writing without lifting a pen. This exercise helps you keep your hand still, helps improve the movement of your fingers, and helps you write in a smaller space.

This exercise is simple, and all you will need is a piece of paper with squares on it and a pen. Make sure that there are a lot of squares, as you should repeat this process quite a bit for it to be considered practice. The squares drawn or printed on the paper should also not be larger than one inch by one inch.

Once you have positioned yourself in the way you would usually write, place your hand on the paper a bit below the first square. Once your hand is in position, start drawing a circle in the square by only moving your fingers while keeping your wrist still.

It would be best if you tried going around the circle at least three times before doing the same exercise in the next square. You can repeat this exercise as much as you want, and I would recommend doing this exercise daily to help you regain the proper maneuverability of your fingers.

2. Drawing Lines And Other Shapes In A Box Exercise

The second exercise on this list is very similar to the previous one. However, it requires the use of different shapes and lines. You will again need a piece of paper with squares and a pen.

Once you are comfortable, and after resting your hand on the paper, you should start drawing lines as done in the first exercise. I suggest making a horizontal line followed by a vertical line to start. You should draw this line and go over it at least three times before going to the next square.

Once you have managed to keep your wrist still while drawing the first two-line exercises, you can start by doing the same with both types of diagonal lines. You should alternate the lines to ensure that you practice them all and do not focus on just one.

You can also do a different exercise that does not require you to draw a line or a circle. You can choose one of two other shapes to help you with this exercise. By drawing either a circular spiral or a number eight in a box, you will significantly improve your ability to control the flow of the pen by using only your fingers and not your wrist.

3. Writing Notes To Yourself In Cursive

Though this might seem straightforward, this exercise is also very widely used and has helped many people master the art of writing without lifting the pen.

To start the exercise, the first thing you’ll need to do is find the cursive alphabet and practice the formation of the letters. Do this for 10 to fifteen minutes every day for a week just to get before taking the next step.

Once you are comfortable writing individual letters in cursive, you can start going bigger. I suggest finding a word a day with a strange spelling and practicing writing it by itself. If there are letters in the word that are not common in everyday terms, this will help you learn how to write and attach those letters more quickly in the future.

While you are busy with the word of the day exercise, you can also start by writing notes to yourself in cursive. If you are in school and need to take notes or homework, this is an excellent time to practice your cursive writing. If you are working and need to take notes in your journal or during a meeting, this is a great way to practice.

If you can practice your cursive writing for 15 minutes every day, you will soon be able to write beautifully without giving it much thought.

4. Using The Number 8 To Fill In A Drawing

Another way you can practice both drawing and writing without lifting the pen is by using the number 8 to help you fill in a specific area of a picture. This exercise is easy, and you only need a pen or pencil and an image that you can add color to, like that found in a coloring book.

This exercise might seem a bit embarrassing but will significantly improve your writing and drawing ability without lifting the pen. Once you have a piece of paper or a picture, practice this and start by drawing the number 8 repeatedly without raising your hand.

For example, if you have a picture of a flower, try coloring the flower petals without lifting the pen and using the number 8. For areas with corners or areas with little space to move, make smaller eights. For more extensive areas you can make bigger eights. It would be best for your progress if you did not lift the pen unless moving to a different picture section.

You can layer eights on top of one another for darker colors, and for lighter colors, you can repeat it fewer times. Continue this until your whole image is colorful. It does not matter if some of your eights are misformed, as you should not be able to see any of the numbers individually when the picture is complete.

You can also do this exercise by drawing a picture using the shape of the number 8. By moving the pen only little bits at a time, you can make the appearance of a line by only using a string of the number 8. You can use these lines and practice making different shapes by using these lines.

5. Write Your Signature Repeatedly

One of the things most of us do even after school is create a signature written in cursive. Because they look nice and are a fast way of signing documents, cursive signatures are usually adopted early on in our lives.

Using your name, surname, initials, or any combination of these can make a cursive signature. Practicing your cursive signature on a piece of paper can significantly help you improve your writing and can help you write without lifting the pen.

Two other variants of the mentioned exercise can also help you improve your writing without lifting the pen. The first is creating a fake name and a new signature for this name. Like your own signature, I recommend doing this in cursive to help you improve.

You can also do the exercise of writing your name and surname over one another repeatedly. This exercise will also help you improve your cursive and can help you write without lifting the pen.

6. Writing Out Lyrics To A Song You Like

If you want to practice cursive writing further, an excellent way is to write something. If you struggle to think of something to write, you can always rewrite lyrics to your favorite song to help you practice. You can also use poetry or other writings in this way. This exercise will help you write better and help you remember things that you have written down.

7. Complete Puzzles

You can find some puzzles on the internet that might also help you write without lifting the pen. These puzzles are exercises in thinking outside of the box to complete a task. These puzzles need to should be done without lifting your pen.

Thinking outside the box is vital when writing or drawing without lifting the pen. Finding the best way to complete a drawing or writing without lifting the pen could not only help you improve your writing skill but can also help you strengthen your mind and help you think differently.

Two puzzles are used more regularly than others. One of these puzzles looks like a house drawn by a child with a big X through it. This exercise asks you to duplicate the shape without lifting the pen or going over the same line twice. It might take a few tries to complete this puzzle.

Another puzzle based on the same exercise is a small circle inside a big circle with a line through the middle of both rings. This exercise is done without lifting your pen or going over the same line twice.

8. Complete Exercise Cards

There are plenty of resources available to us online. One of the resources that have been made available for free is exercise cards. These are exercises that can be printed out and completed in person.

Simply searching online for cursive exercises allows you to use any of a multitude of sites to make and print these exercises. These cards are handy if you are trying to improve your cursive writing from the ground up. Teachers and parents also use these to help children learn and improve their cursive writing abilities.

Some of the exercises on these cards include copying a sentence given and practicing different letters. Some exercises help you improve both capital and lower-case letters to ensure you are improving on both.

Other Tips For Writing Without Lifting The Pen

Like everything in life, there are two keys to the mastery of writing without lifting the pen. These two keys are practice and repetition.

If you are looking to improve your writing ability without lifting the pen, you will have to practice becoming good at it. Don’t be disheartened when you are not the best at it right at the beginning.

Another thing to remember is that repetition helps you remember and helps you improve. Even if you have done the exercises mentioned above multiple times, you should repeat them if you are still struggling. Though this might seem tedious, the repetition will help you improve in time.

Other tips that may help you improve your ability to write without lifting the pen, especially when trying to write in cursive, are:

  • Divide your lines into two by drawing a horizontal line through the line already given on your paper. This practice will help you know where capital and lower-case letters should end and begin.
  • Practice writing from the bottom to the top instead of writing from top to bottom. This practice does not refer to where on the page you are writing. But where you start writing your letters. Many cursive letters start from the bottom of the line, making it more efficient if you do not have to repeat a line to complete a letter.
  • Practice the looping parts of letters, such as the cursive letter L. The capital and lower-case letter L require you to make a particular loop to form the letter. Practice doing this to improve the formation of your letters.


There are many ways to improve your writing and learn how to write without lifting the pen. Some of the exercises might be more straightforward than others, but all will allow you to practice and improve. Not giving up is essential to improve. Practice makes perfect, and everyone must start somewhere.

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