It is quite normal for your handwriting to change over time. The way we form letters on a page evolves to fit our ever-changing lifestyle and needs. If you want to change your handwriting or wonder why your writing looks so different from a few years ago, we have some information about writing styles that will surprise you.
Your handwriting changes over time as it constantly evolves to fit your lifestyle. You can also consciously change your handwriting style. Sudden changes in handwriting can be a warning sign of a condition like Parkinson’s, or it may result from an injury, arthritis, or changes in vision.
Your handwriting is uniquely your own. Once you have learned to write, it becomes natural to jot something down or sign your name quickly. So why does it change over time, and can you change your handwriting style if you want to? Let’s find out!
Can Your Handwriting Change?
Not only will your handwriting change over time, you probably already have at least two distinctly different styles of handwriting even now. Think about how you would write a grocery list compared to writing a thoughtful message on a bereavement card. While the overall style will be recognizable, the handwriting would probably appear quite different.
You can change your handwriting deliberately if there is another style you prefer. However, learning a new style takes repetition and practice to internalize the new way of forming the letters on a page. Most people can consciously and slowly mimic another writing style if they want to, but their handwriting will revert to the fastest and most familiar style once they need to speed up.
If you want to change your handwriting because it is untidy or difficult for other people to read, it will take some practice, but it can be done. To begin with, take some simple steps like slowing down when you are writing and using a thicker pen. If your writing is too small, change to lined paper. Becoming conscious of the process of writing by hand often delivers a much neater result.
Handwriting evolves as a result of the requirements of life. Some jobs may require neat, legible printing for some tasks, and our handwriting style can, and will, change to keep up. Someone who has to take notes with pen and paper in college lectures will undoubtedly rapidly develop a different style simply because they have to.
Our moods and emotions can also affect the consistency of how we write. When you are calm and focused, your handwriting is more likely to be neat. If you feel anxious or flustered, it will often show in your writing style. So when comparing your different styles of handwriting from an old diary, keep in mind that it is not only the words telling a story but also the way the letters were formed and set out on the page.
Handwriting is considered an expression of personality, and core elements of the original style will always remain. Graphologists argue that it is impossible to completely hide all the tell-tale markers of someone’s core handwriting style, even if they try to disguise or change their writing. However, this is a highly controversial field that many consider a pseudoscience.
Handwriting is often considered to be something of an art form since it allows you to express yourself creatively. A person with elongated, cursive style handwriting will send a very different message than another person that painstakingly prints every letter, even if the words on the page are identical.
Why Has My Handwriting Changed?
If you are curious about why your diary from a decade ago looks like it was written by somebody else, it is because your handwriting has changed. This is a normal and expected process as the art of writing by hand is a malleable process. The way we write changes as our lives speed up and slow down.
Scientifically, there is no reason why your handwriting would change over time. Once you have mastered holding a pen and forming letters on paper, the process becomes almost automatic. So long as it is legible, its purpose is achieved, so why does our handwriting from a few years ago look different from what it is now?
There are eight main reasons why your handwriting changes over time.
- You get older. As you mature, you have more time to practice and perfect your handwriting style. Marked changes in the style occur while learning and perfecting your own unique technique. Once tiny, hesitant flourishes in your lettering may become bold and a normal part of your everyday style. Your increasing confidence will show in your writing style.
- Handwriting changes to keep up with the needs of your lifestyle. If you need to write faster, you won’t be able to take as much care over carefully forming each letter. Gradually the new, faster style will become the new normal.
- You can actively learn a new handwriting style. You may actively decide to take on a new handwriting style because it looks more attractive or you feel it better suits your personality. You may see a particular handwriting style that appeals to you and actively try to copy it.
- Time intervals between writing – While you will probably never lose the ability to write by hand once you have learned how to, it will become less fluid and feel less natural if you pick up a pen after a long break. Your handwriting may appear shaky, or the pressure you exert on the pen could change, making your writing appear quite different from how it looked before.
- Your moods and emotional state – Handwriting is an unspoken method by which we give clues about our emotional state and mood. Handwriting can change significantly through different life phases like deep depression or the exhilaration of being in love. Research has shown distinct differences in the handwriting of subjects in the ‘negative mood’ group compared to control groups.
- Your writing tools have changed – If you learned to write with an ink pen or using a pencil, your handwriting on a tablet with a stylus might look completely different. The thickness of a pen’s grip and the broadness of the nib on the page can also change how you form your letters.
- It could be an indicator of a condition like Parkinson’s Disease. Handwriting is an unconscious process that can give valuable clues about changes taking place in the brain. One of the first symptoms of Parkinson’s disease is handwriting that has become smaller or starts crowding together.
- It may have a physical cause like arthritis, injury, or changes in vision. Handwriting may change dramatically because of injury that affects fine motor coordination or decreased vision. Writing is a complex process that relies on the cooperation of the eyes, brain, and motor activity. If one of these is negatively affected, the result may result in a very different handwriting style.
Our handwriting is a constantly evolving part of our lives. If your handwriting has changed, unless it is for the worse, embrace your new style and know that it is one of the things that makes you uniquely yourself.
How Can I Change My Handwriting?
It is entirely possible to change your handwriting if you are unhappy with how it looks. It will take some practice, but if you are determined and committed, choose a style you like and get started!
You will need different approaches if you only want to tidy up your current style or are aiming for a completely different look and feel of your handwriting. Let’s start with some tips on how to neaten your current writing. This is usually simpler than entirely changing styles which must be done by meticulously tracing and copying letters until you have learned the new shapes.
Remember that it took you a long time to learn to write, to begin with, so changing styles will also take time. However, since you already know how to write, your focus will be more on varying the way you have been forming the letters. Often neatening up your existing handwriting style can be fixed simply by writing slowly and deliberately rather than quickly jotting things down.
7 Steps To Develop A Neater Handwriting
If you have noticed that other people have trouble reading what you have written, you might want to iron out some of the squishy or overly squiggly letters. The formation of the letters may be acceptable, but the size, spacing, or angle may need to be adjusted to make the handwriting look more uniform and legible.
Let’s just right into it. No matter your age, if you want to change your current handwriting, you will need to practice.
- Try different pens. Not all pens are created equal. The thickness of the grip in your hand, the flow of the ink onto the paper, and how it makes you feel while writing will affect how you write. Choose a pen that lets you relax your grip and has a broader flow of ink onto the paper, making it feel more gratifying while writing.
- Find time. Although you should practice your new style whenever possible, to begin with, you will need to devote time to concentrate on how your form each letter. You already know the basics, so you probably just need to sit comfortably and slow down.
- Write in the air first. Your focus needs to be on improving the formation of each letter. It can help to use your arm to write each letter you want to form in the air. This air writing method forces you to exaggerate each letter and also gets you to use different muscles.
Picture the letters you are forming as you them in the air in front of you. Once you have the hang of creating the letters, make your movements smaller and smaller before picking up your pen.
- Practice by writing familiar words – Remember that when you progress onto paper, your focus needs to be on the correct formation of each letter, rather than worrying about spelling or grammar. Use your name and address, or write out the alphabet.
- Focus on the pressure – Try to keep your writing on the page light. Concentrating can make you press harder than necessary. If you find you are pressing too hard, make a few light pen strokes on the side of the page to help you lighten up a bit before you try again.
- Review your sample writing – Start by writing a sample sentence neatly. Then stop and critique your work. You will only be able to neaten your handwriting if you know what you want to change. Take note of the following:
- The size of the letters – using lined paper can help you practice creating more evenly-sized writing.
- The shape of the letters – print out a sample sheet of what each letter should look like. Identify letters that you want to change your handwriting.
- The straightness of the writing – Using lined paper will help keep your writing straight. You can also experiment with turning the page to an angle to find which way is best for you.
- The spacing between letters – Uniformity in the lettering will make your writing appear neater and easier to read. Check that the spacing between each letter is the same.
- Keep practicing! Once you have embarked on the journey to change or improve your handwriting, you must practice your new style daily. Be aware of your handwriting style each time you pick up a pen. If you don’t need to write a lot, keep a journal and write down your thoughts or goals, but ensure that you have an opportunity to practice every day.
How To Change Your Handwriting Style
If you are not happy with the overall style of your handwriting, it is possible to change it. It may feel a bit like going back to school as you will need to study the shape of each of the letters meticulously.
- Find a style and print some worksheets – Plenty of handwriting styles come with handy worksheets available online. Print a few as templates to trace the letters when you first start. A good tip is to print your worksheets bold and with a font size of at least 14. That will ensure that they will still be visible under a sheet of lightweight paper.
- Start by tracing – Place your clean paper over the printed sheet and start practicing. Carefully trace over each letter. Try to focus on gliding over the shape as lightly and smoothly as possible so that your fingers also become familiar with the feeling of making new shapes.
- Move on to copying – Once you have traced over the shapes a few times, move on to copying them. This can be slow going but persist. You need to match what your eye sees with what your fingers create on the paper. If you are not managing immediately, go back to tracing and practice more before trying again.
- Practice your new style – Practice the new style without looking at the example. The new lettering may not be perfect to start, but you will be able to master the new style with continued practice. Remember that no handwriting will ever look exactly like a computer-generated font, and no matter what new style you choose, there will always be unique elements in the font that will be unique to you.
Your handwriting can and will change over time. Changes may be subtle and be the result of a natural evolution because of continued practice, or it could be because the writer actively goes about changing their style. Each person’s handwriting is a malleable work in progress throughout their life.