This may seem like an odd topic for the…
While writing fast may not be considered a useful skill in the age of laptops and smartphones, some situations still require speedy lettering.
Learning how to write quickly and neatly is easily achievable once you master a few tricks and have the right tools.
Why do you need to write faster?
Despite a growing reliance on typing skills, there are still plenty of instances where writing quickly is required.
Many journalists still use pen and paper for interviews and events, especially in places where electronic devices are prohibited, such as courtrooms or prisons.
If you’re taking a written exam on pen and paper, fast writing is crucial. It’s also important your words are clear and neat for the marker to understand – we’ll go through tips for achieving this later on.
Teaching is another profession where writing fast is useful. Annotating student work and giving feedback is a cumbersome task, which can be aided with a quick pen. The same goes for any job where physical editing or notetaking is a large part of the role – publishers, authors, and therapists included.
Tips for writing quickly
If you’re facing the challenge of slow writing or simply want to save time when working on your next written project, these strategies can help you achieve fast penmanship.
1. Good posture
Look at your posture – are you slouching when you write? Do your arms, back or shoulders cramp? Adjusting the way you sit can go a long way in putting pen to paper more quickly. Sit with a straight back and your elbows at right angles to the table. Make sure your feet are flat on the ground and your back is well supported by your chair. Some writers also use standing desks, which have been shown to increase blood flow and energy.
2. Try the Pomodoro Technique
If you find yourself getting easily distracted or fatigued when writing, try the Pomodoro Technique. This popular time-management method is linked to increased productivity. The rules are straightforward: write for 25 minutes, then take a break for 5-10 minutes. After four sessions, take a longer break of 20 to 30 minutes, before starting the whole process again.
3. Write smaller
Writing smaller is a quick technique to adopt to faster lettering. The smaller your text, the less your pen or pencil has to travel. Don’t go overboard, however – too small writing can be more time consuming, as well as difficult for others to read. A small decrease (around 10-15%) makes a difference.
4. Write tall and skinny
Altering the shape of your letters can lead to quick handwriting. Because of the way our fingers bend, we often have difficulty writing side to side. However, writing up and down (i.e. forming the letters themselves) is easy. Writing tall and skinny letters reduces the amount of horizontal movement and means our hands move in a more natural and comfortable motion.
5. Use your arm
Many writers make the mistake of overly relying on their wrists when using a pen. Instead, engage your forearm and use it to guide your hand across the paper. This will reduce wrist strain, allowing you to write for longer and more comfortably.
6. Loose grip
Thin pens force your fingers to squeeze the barrel tighter, causing pain in your fingers and wrist. Use a pen grip or invest in a thicker, higher-quality pen to alleviate this pressure. Less muscle strain equals a better writing experience, the key to writing quickly.
The best pens for writing fast
- Less drag on the paper, which reduces the amount of pressure you need to apply.
- Better quality ink requires less effort to put pen to paper, meaning decreased strain on your fingers and wrist.
- Thinner tips allow you to write with less downward pressure, making it easier to form smaller and thinner letters, another tip for fast writing.
- Good quality rollerball, ballpoint, and fountain pens have a comfortable grip, which promotes good form and a speedier technique.
Rollerball pens use water-based ink. They’re smooth to write with, and the needle-like tip writes a fine line that is perfect for forming small and thin letters.
For fast writing, choose a ballpoint pen that uses a hybrid ink. This means the ink has added lubricant that makes the ball roll smoother. Ballpoint pen ink also dries quicker than its counterparts, making them great for lefthanded writers.
Gel pens use water-based pigmented ink that’s combined with other chemicals, resulting in a gel-like paste. This ink is smooth to write with and dries incredibly quickly.
The water-based ink and the fine quality nibs of fountain pens make them ideal for writing quickly if you know how to correctly use them. Practice makes perfect when it comes to fountain pens. Pair your tool with high-quality paper for the best writing experience.