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This article was published on July 31, 2015

TNW’s Handwriting Challenge: Has typing made your penmanship worse? #TNWwrites

TNW’s Handwriting Challenge: Has typing made your penmanship worse? #TNWwrites
Natt Garun
Story by

Natt Garun

US Editor

Natt Garun is the former US Editor at The Next Web, managing the North American team on content, events, features and reviews coverage. She Natt Garun is the former US Editor at The Next Web, managing the North American team on content, events, features and reviews coverage. She previously wrote for Digital Trends, Business Insider, and Gizmodo. Facebook | Twitter | Google+

When our sole method of communication is typing on keyboards, it’s rare to see anyone’s penmanship these days.

I don’t know about you, but I love looking at different people’s handwriting. Not necessarily for the purpose of analyzing it for personality traits (though many are into that too), but because they’re simply fascinating, unique and often interesting and eccentric.

And really, when was the last time you picked up a pen to write a full sentence? Has typing made your handwriting worse?

We wanted to know all of this, and asked TNW’s editorial staff to send in their chicken scratches. We assigned each team member a line from a… well known song… and asked them to jot it down in their most natural scribble.

Amanda Connolly, EU Reporter

amanda writes

I think this is my most natural style – when I try too hard, it looks different and not as fluid. It’s also become a lot more consistent since I finished college, it used to vary a lot, whereas now, probably because I write a little less by hand, it seems to be consistently the same style. 

Abhimanyu Ghoshal, Asia Reporter

abhi writes

It’s obviously not good, but I don’t particularly hate it. I can’t write on unruled paper – it’s been that way since I was a toddler, and I often carried a ruled sheet to school for exams.

I do wish my letters were more consistent in their angle and shapes, but I rarely write and so don’t get a chance to practice.

Natt Garun, US Editor

natt writes

I was born left-handed, but got switched to my right writing hand around the first grade – which was pretty late. It took a while for me to finally master the pen, though I am trying to get my left writing dexterity back.

My handwriting used to be neater. These days, I think it’s a balanced mix of sharp and round shapes. 

Mic Wright, EU Reporter

mic wright writes

This is not how I generally write. My writing is actually smaller and more compact. I wrote in my ‘birthday card’ script here, because I knew it needed to be more poster like for this little project.

I like my writing but am particular about it. I like writing in black ink and dislike blue.

Ben Woods, EU Editor


While it might look like reliance on computers has ruined my handwriting, it’s always looked like that.

Do I wish it was better? Definitely! Will it ever be? Not likely.

Jackie DoveCreativity Editor


My handwriting looks like some kind of insane scrawl. It has obviously deteriorated over time, but I was always better at printing than writing script. 

Napier Lopez, East Coast Reporter

napier writes

I think my handwriting is pretty decent, if tiny, and I’m one of relatively few people I know who default to cursive. We had calligraphy class in the Dominican Republic, and my handwriting hasn’t really changed much since then.

Oh, and I *always* write in blue.

Martin Bryant, Editor-in-Chief

martin writes

I learned cursive aged 8 but I stopped using it when I turned 16 and teachers stopped expecting it. I’d describe my handwriting as ‘functional but sloppy.’ I barely write a sentence a month with a pen these days so why bother improving?

Lauren Hockenson, West Coast Reporter

lauren writes

My atrophied millennial gnome hands were hindered in dexterity at a young age due to skipping vital handwriting practice in kindergarten, so my handwriting as a child was an actual joke.

Even though I type way more often than I write now, I think my handwriting has actually improved in adulthood, thanks to my over-sentimental compulsion to send loved ones hand-written cards.

Owen Williams, EU Reporter

owen writes

My writing has never been legible, because I’ve spent most of my life in front of a keyboard. Teachers berated me for it. My signature on my drivers license is more of a scribble. But…. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

Matt Hussey, Commissioning Editor

matt h writes

My writing has been described most accurately as “drunk doctor” on account of it being both illegible and unnecessarily ‘swishy.’ I still make time to write something everyday, even if it’s just a to-do list as there’s something genuinely satisfying in putting pen to paper.  

Nate Swanner, West Coast Reporter

nate writes

It’s only got worse over the years. It was born of high school drafting classes, and used to be absolutely perfect. It’s more about speed for me, now.

Now it’s your turn!

Take part in TNW’s Handwriting Challenge! Just snap a photo of whatever you’d like to write (watch the language, please) or a recent page from your notebook and upload it with the hashtag #TNWwrites.

We can’t all write like President Obama, but heck, it’s worth checking out.

Read next: Laugh your way into the weekend with @TheNextWeb’s Tickle Challenge