The Write Stuff for Left Handers
Smudging, scratchy letters and covered up writing are some of the problems we hear from left handers about their handwriting. Whilst many lefties have developed techniques to alleviate these issues, it can often cause writing strain. Since about 11% of the UK population are left handers, we felt it was time to offer some tips and advice.
Essentially there are two solutions; adopting the correct writing position and choosing the correct pen.
Adopt a Good Writing Position
- As a lefty, you push rather than pull when writing, causing your words to be covered as you write (with the obvious smudging). If you rotate the paper approximately 45 degrees clockwise, your elbow comes in and the hand drops under the writing line. This will be more comfortable and gives you the visual space as you write.
- Do you sometimes hunch over your pen, with your fingers tightly pressed towards the end of the nib? This exasperates the problem as a leftie, causing even more smudging. We recommend you hold your pen far enough back from the point (1 – 1.5 inches is a good benchmark)
Choose the Right Equipment
Some pens are particularly well suited for left handers, and in some cases were specifically designed for this use.
Fountain pens cut the right way - Fountain pens present the biggest challenge for lefties, since nibs are generally cut for right handers. Only a few brands produce nibs dedicated for the left hander, which are cut in the opposite direction.
Platinum Music Nib
We think this produces sublimely smooth writing. Originally developed for musicians to write sheet music, the nib can cope with being both pushed and pulled.
Ergonomically designed pens - encourages a good writing position
Lamy Dialog 1
The distinctive triangular shape encourages the pen to be held a good distance from the nib.
The revolutionary Yoropen has a kink in the pen acting as a finger support, providing the visual space for the lefty. The grip can also be rotated to allow for a more optimal writing position.
“Philip is in a Year 3 class and is left handed and used to hold his pencil awkwardly. It took a while to get used to the (Yoropen) grip but in the end Philip is now holding his pencil correctly…..The quality of his work has greatly improved and it is now much neater. Philip likes the fact that he can read what he is writing” Laura Barnett (mum)
Fast drying ink – is essential when trying to prevent excessive smudging, the scourge of the leftie.
Parker Quink cartridges and ink bottles – contains alchohol so that it is faster drying. Parker cartridges are the same as international standard so can also be used in many other pens too (e.g. Faber Castell, Otto Hut, Diplomat etc)
Some famous lefties
- Leonardo Da Vinci – renowned for keeping a notebook with all his inventions
- Lewis Carroll
- Bill Bryson
- Matt Groening
- Sir Paul McCartney
- Albert Einstein
- Winston Churchill