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Mattranlett
1
Mar 8, 2018
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Looking for beginner advice for a left-handed writer. Where should I start? Smearing is my enemy b/c I write with that cruel left handed curl, dragging through what I've just written.
Mar 8, 2018
jaguarish
147
Mar 17, 2018
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you can try changing your writing style to 'underwriting' - or elevate your hand with wrist support - also generally a fast drying ink and fine nib are recommended.
Mar 17, 2018
BetaWar
185
Mar 29, 2018
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As @jaguarish said, using a finer nib and quick-dry ink can be a huge help there.
I am also a lefty, and I wind up "over writing" with my notebook/ paper/ journal at a 45 degree angle "uphill" (away from me). It works well in my case. I also tend to enjoy using Japanese EF (~0.2mm) nibs and frequently use carbon inks so even if my hands have moisture on them, it won't smudge the ink once it has had a chance to dry.
Still, there are some times that I have managed to get my writing to smudge. If you find it really bad, you may want to look into investing in some absorption (also called blotting paper) paper to put under your left hand while writing (between your skin and the sheet of paper you are writing on) to help blot up excess ink as you go over it. I haven't personally used any, but it is supposed to help.
Mar 29, 2018
NrsSam
0
Apr 23, 2018
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I'm not a lefty but I've seen people use a piece of paper under their left hand to slide along as they write.
Apr 23, 2018
jamesrovira
3
May 12, 2018
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Some journals come with wax paper, which you can use between pages or beneath your hand.
May 12, 2018
coffee3
8
May 27, 2018
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switch up input methods! if you're not at all a pen/ink/stationery nerd yet, I'd start cheap and gradually get fancier.
1) write more! no, more! more than that! keep writing! I have found that physically writing things down helps me remember them much better than typing or not recording them at all. I write in meetings, on phone calls, when I'm studying/learning something new, when I'm working, basically continuously. I think it's much better to have disorganized/messy notes than no notes at all - practicing creating not-so-good notes helps one record and organize information better. You'll figure out if underwriting / bullet journaling / other organizational schemes work for you as you try them.
2) you may have really different outcomes using different inexpensive pens. I used Papermate Profile ballpoints and Papermate Flair felt-tip pens exclusively for years before I got into fountain pens. I find needle-point pens inconveniently fragile and gel pens prone to smearing/smudging, but you might not.
3) How fast ink dries varies a lot depending on paper. Super cheap paper (e.g. generic store-brand notebooks) might absorb ink fast and "feather" (i.e. ink spreads around on the page) or "bleed" (i.e. go through the page to the next page). If you're using a ballpoint pen or a relatively dry ink, though, this might not matter. Physically smaller notebooks tend to be cheaper than larger ones - maybe grab the Goulet notebook sampler and a few different smallish ones from a local big box store to see what works for you. I really like Mnemosyne and Leuchtterm, but style and preference varies.
3) I have found that I notice the experience of writing more and write more carefully with fountain pens, also, the Platinum Preppy is amazing. If you want to get into fountain pens, getting a few Preppies, a converter, a syringe, and some ink samples is a great place to start. You can use the converter to clean out the Preppies when they empty, and the syringe to clean out the Preppy cartridges and refill the cartridges with ink.
I hope this helps!
May 27, 2018
A community member
Jun 1, 2018
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As others have suggested, fast drying ink, finer nibs, wrist support (hackey sacks work) and blotting paper may help. I don't think there's a single "magic bullet" fix. Changing your hand position is good, but it can be frustrating to relearn.
There are silky half gloves, meant for drawing on art tablets. They reduce friction between your hand and the writing surface. Since you are still in contact with the paper, it won't eliminate smearing, but may reduce it.
Play around with ink and paper combinations. Ink is only half of the equation. Thick, absorbent papers dry to the touch faster than thin or 'silky' or (most) coated papers. Some papers are rough and difficult to write on, or absorb too much ink, which gets inkspensive. Bound sketchbooks generally have nice paper for writing, but are unlined. If you don't mind using a lined template under the page, this may be a good option. I use Pentalic and ProArt brands, because of availability, sizes, and affordability, but there are lots of brands and styles. Try a few ink and paper combos to find the best writing experience for yourself.
Jun 1, 2018
A community member
Jun 1, 2018
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Handwriting for learning and remembering has been undervalued, although the benefits were spelled out in "Educational Psychology" class when I was in college. If I write something by hand, on paper, I am far more likely to remember it than if I type it, read it, hear it, or click "add meeting to schedule". I once looked forward to the highly touted "paperless" world, but now relish paper, pens and pencils more than ever.
Jun 1, 2018
BetaWar
185
Jun 11, 2018
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One other thing that I have started doing (since, sadly, with the summer being here and I am currently using a dye-based ink, it results in some horrible smudging) is using a paper towel under my hand (instead of blotting paper) as I write. It acts very much as blotting paper would, and is absorbent enough to wick away the excess ink before smudging it (at least in my cases so far). More importantly, is that it also keeps to moisture from my hand from making it back to the paper and re-wetting the ink that has dried.
After I am done writing I just leave the paper towel in the journal at that page - so it can also act like a poor man's ribbon if your journal doesn't have one. In the long run this may not be the best plan, but so far I haven't noticed any negative side-effects from doing it. Plus it keeps my ink where it is supposed to be, which is a big improvement over what I was dealing with before.
Jun 11, 2018
Oneeyedsmiley
7
Jun 18, 2018
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I used to write with the left-handed curl but at some point I realized that no one was grading my penmanship anymore. I turned my paper in the other direction and now slant my letters the "wrong" way and write from top to bottom without the cramp-inducing left-hand curl:
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Jun 18, 2018
Janabai
8
Jun 27, 2018
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Same here!
Jun 27, 2018
Janabai
8
Aug 31, 2018
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Take it from someone who used to smear blue black ink up my arm.....I grew up writing with fountain pens; after I got out of Catholic school, my pen use changed to a backhand slant which stopped the smearing. If you are an overhand writer, you probably need a blotter to keep on top of lines you've just written. I write "underhanded" and have for many years, which is much easier for me (and less painful to my wrists).
Aug 31, 2018
sjkissell
5
Sep 2, 2018
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I like fountain pens with diamine kjk and fine nibs. Unfortunately the best fountain pen papers leave too much ink on the surface and I get smearage, I like goulet travellers notebooks or leuchterm A5 journals. I have some bleed through but that is the price you pay for unlinked hands.
Sep 2, 2018
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