You Will Have a Hard Time Reading This: A Story About My Handwriting

This year, I’ve told myself I want to do more writing and ultimately share some of my thoughts here on the blog. Some of that writing happens on my computer(s), but the rest of it happens on good old pen and paper with ideas and thoughts scattered across various notebooks. It was there I realized that there was another story on the paper beyond just the words I wrote.

Friends and coworkers know that my normal handwriting also leaves a lot to be desired as well. It also leaves most of them squinting in a vain attempt to physically see the characters written on paper. In looking back at some journals and other things with my handwriting on them, there was a shift during my senior year of college where I took a sharp turn from mediocre cursive handwriting to slightly less mediocre block writing. Unfortunately, I do not recall the reason for making the switch to writing in all caps, but I haven’t looked back since. What was interesting is that for a period of time the size of my letters remained similar to my cursive, which even then rarely had capital letters that reached the full vertical height of college ruled paper.

Fast forward to today and my handwriting has slowly morphed into a style truly my own and one which has its own built-in security in that most people cannot decipher the actual words I wrote. The photo below provides a sense of scale. The “squared” notebook aka graph paper lines are about 1/4″ tall.

handwriting next to a ruler

You can see below I’m going half height on that, or about 1/8″ tall.  My all-caps lettering may imply I could be a little disconnected from others, hiding something from everyone, and egotistical. Well if that’s true, I’m not sure I’m comfortable talking to any of you about that.

normal_handwriting_for_me

Say what you will about my handwriting style. It is ridiculously small and I don’t know anyone else personally that matches it. However, it also says some good things about me according to the positive articles I decided to read. So next time you snicker that you can’t decipher what’s in my notebook, know I was probably focusing deeply on what I wrote in a fit of introverted solitude while under some likely self-induced pressure. But like I’ve joked with coworkers as I jot down ideas in my small pocketable notebook, “small notebook & handwriting, big ideas & thoughts.”

graph_paper_mazes

Also, the other great quality of graph/”squared” paper beside being the perfect canvas for my tiny letters? Drawing mazes! I did this incessantly for a time in elementary school and would bring them in for friends to try and figure out. No, they did not ask me to make them but I did it anyway. Do not ask why I did it nor why I found them enjoyable to draw.

What do you think your handwriting says about you? Or how crazy do you think I am now that you’ve seen actual samples of my handwriting?

  • Abram K-J

    Loved this:

    “My all-caps lettering may imply I could be a little disconnected from others, hiding something from everyone, and egotistical. Well if that’s true, I’m not sure I’m comfortable talking to any of you about that.”

    Also, have you gotten the fountain pen bug yet?

    • Greg Macek

      Ha glad you picked up on that.

      And not on the fountain pen train just yet. My left-handedness and propensity to smudge have steered me away from fountain pens.

  • Jen Yeung Dao

    Resonated with your comment about the built-in security. I hesitate to write my thoughts and feelings down because I wonder if they can ever be completely secure…

    Also, if I remember correctly, you’re a leftie too. I think it’s harder to have neat handwriting as a leftie! 🙂

    • Greg Macek

      I think our thoughts/feelings on paper are probably more secure than something we write on our computers. Then again, nothing is completely secure, right?

      And yes, being a leftie typically does not correlate with good handwriting! I have years of ink and pencil graphite smudge to prove it. 🙂