My name is Abby, and I do not have pretty writing.
The first step is to recognize that there is a problem. Terri recently posted a blog entry done in her neat, friendly handwriting and urged others to do likewise. Ugh, do I dare put readers through the torture?
Now I don't think too much about this, this "disability" of mine. It usually only causes me consternation when I need to write a personal note of some sort, like a thank-you. A thank-you should be handwritten and authentic and pretty. I try, but it seems the harder I try, the worse it gets.
I actually keep a written journal, but I don't worry about anyone finding it and reading it, because it's so illegible, even I can't read it.
BUT, I recently learned that there's a name for this! I'm not alone!
Graphomotor function is the use of the neuromuscular system in the fingers and hands to effectively maneuver a pen or pencil and put letters and words on paper. People with graphomotor problems struggle with this, especially as assignment length increases. This function affects the ability to keep pace with the flow of ideas.
Yes, that's me! Graphomotor function - "the deeply mysterious and too often elusive form of motor ability needed for writing." - Mel Levine, M.D. - problem.
And I'm a teacher now. My biggest obstacle in my teacher training was writing legibly on the whiteboard. My trainer just tells me to "practice practice practice"... "and, write in BLOCK LETTERS". So that's what I do. I have a whiteboard in my house for practice. It's getting better.
I know a lot of people who just say, "I have bad handwriting", and it seems that maybe they're just lazy, but I can attest to the struggles these people have with legible writing. Like I said, the harder I try to write prettily, the uglier it gets. And yes, the longer the note gets, the more it looks like sh*t on a shingle. And yes, my hand just can't keep up with what my brain's trying to say. *sigh*
So, to all the Graphomos out there (is that a proper label?). You are not alone!