I made a big change in 2014. I changed how I write the number 4.

I have a long history of doing this, dating back to the mid-90's when I morphed my block print into a more architectural style to match the drafting job I had taken. I practiced the alphabet and numbers 0-9 repeatedly, filling up page after page of a legal pad. Some letters came quickly, like Aa, but others were more of a challenge, like Gg.

As one letter would get locked into my muscle memory, I'd resort to practicing the more difficult changes until it all came together. It took some time, but eventually there was no more practicing, only writing. For those who want to improve your handwriting, this is how you do it.

That time was peak handwriting clarity for me. It has slowly deteriorated over the years to what you see now. It's still considered good and I like it, but it could use some refinement. Last year, for reasons I'm still not exactly sure of, I decided to refine my 4.

Growing up, I had mostly been an open top 4 writer and I'm not even sure when I started using the closed top version, but I have been for years and years. At some point last summer, after writing a half-year's worth of 2014's, I decided the closed top 4 was no longer for me. I experimented with the open top 4 and I liked it - a lot - so I worked on changing how I wrote it.

Again, that took me back to repetition and practice. There is no other way to change your handwriting than that. It actually took me longer than I thought to lock in the change, and I'd get frustrated with every closed 4 I would write because they just weren't as nice. Finally, as the year came to a close, I had it locked in. But now I have a new problem.

I hate my 5.

Posted on January 2, 2015 and filed under Writing.