Coming Back Into Style
Cursive is a fantastic handwriting style. It’s classy, quick, and versatile. But like most people, I stopped using it in grade school and I simply forgot how to do it. A few years ago, I decided to jump back into cursive to beautify both my day-to-day handwriting and my hand lettering. It took some time and practice to relearn this forgotten skill, but it was well worth it. Cursive is an extremely efficient and eye-catching way to write — I’m surprised it fell out of fashion! Thankfully, there are people all over the internet keeping this classic writing style alive. If you’re wanting to learn how to improve your cursive writing or relearn it from scratch, then here are five tips to help you out.
How to Improve Cursive Writing
1. Get Back to the Basics
The first thing you can do to improve your cursive writing is to simply brush up on the basic cursive alphabet. This is the best way to make sure you are writing your cursive correctly as you build the writing reflex. You might accidentally develop a letterform that isn’t technically correct if you don’t check the alphabet early on. That’s what happened to me! I didn’t realize that I was using an incorrect capital T for the longest time. Now I did it for so long that it still slips into my writing from time to time.
If you’re wanting to get back to the roots of cursive, print out my free cursive alphabet worksheet! You can get it totally free by signing up to my Fox Den Resource Library. Or if you’re already a member of the Fox Den, just head here and pick it up for yourself!
2. Make the Switch
If you’re trying to improve your cursive writing while maintaining print as your main writing method, then it’s time to make the switch fully. Try to write exclusively in cursive for a few weeks, months, or indefinitely. It’s simply the best way to practice. You’ll definitely have messy writing sometimes and you may forget certain letters in the flurry of writing. But at the end of the day, flipping all of your handwriting over the cursive is the fastest way to improve your cursive writing.
3. Keep it Simple
Lots of people, myself included, have decided to pick up cursive again thanks to hand lettering. Cursive is used regularly in brush lettering, which is a type of hand lettering that relies on thick and thin strokes of the pen to create a certain effect. If this is what you want to achieve with your cursive, that’s great! But I want to warn you that trying to introduce a brush pen into your fledgling cursive will only complicate things. For now, keep it simple and just use a normal pen to practice your cursive. Get the letterforms imprinted in your mind and muscle memory before you try adding another element like line variation into the mix.
4. Find (or Make) a Variation that Suits You
When I first began re-learning cursive writing, I found myself regularly stuck on the lowercase b. It just did not make sense to me. At some point, I decided that the b just wasn’t working, so I altered the form until it felt right. Now my lowercase b is more akin to a printed b because it made more sense to me. Is it technically correct? Nope! But I don’t mind, and people can still read my cursive.
There are several variations of the cursive letters out there. My worksheet covers the most basic letterforms, but it is not the end-all-be-all of letter shapes. A lowercase r is a great example — it has a handful of different shapes that you could sample. If you are struggling with a particular letter’s flow, then try looking it up to see if it has any variations. Then give those variations a try to see what fits your hand and style best.
5. Don’t Aim for Perfection
As you are working on improving cursive writing, don’t worry too much about getting it just right every time. Some days your writing will be scrawling while some days it will be neat. When I was switching over to cursive from print, I often had a weird mix of both cursive and print in my handwriting. In fact, it still happens from time to time! If you really want to go slow and practice, then take your time and try to get your cursive writing correct. But don’t feel like every time you jot down a note or grocery list that you need to painstakingly form the letters. Even if it is messy, every bit of writing is practice.
Let’s Get Loopy
Are you feeling jazzed about getting your cursive game on point? Good! With the advent of the computer and typing everything, the art of handwriting seems to have gone out vogue. But people like you and I are keeping this tradition alive and well. Whether you want to improve your cursive writing for your morning pages, pen pals, hand lettering, or bullet journal, these tips will help you keep your letters gorgeous.