Why Do I Have Bad Handwriting? (9 Reasons Why)

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Isabelle O'Gallagher

Isabelle O'Gallagher is a personal development and relationship expert who has consulted for some of the biggest companies in America.

Have you received complaints from teachers at school or colleagues at work with regards to your handwriting? If you have, you may be wondering, why do I have bad handwriting?

Not to worry, you’ve come to the right place. Read on to find out more about the top nine factors that could potentially be contributing to your handwriting woes.

Why Do I Have Bad Handwriting?

1. Writing Too Fast

This is arguably the most common reason why your handwriting may not be up to par. You might simply need to slow down.

Some people are used to writing fast without it affecting the quality of their handwriting. On the other hand, speed comes at the expense of neatness and legibility for most individuals.

We’re often put in situations where we’re forced to write fast, such as in exams or at work.

Despite this, you need to keep in mind that writing too fast defeats the purpose of others (and yourself) being able to read what you wrote.

With time and practice, you’ll get more comfortable with increasing your writing pace—without the quality of your handwriting taking a dip.

2. Incorrect Pen Grip

How you hold your pen plays a pivotal role in the way your writing looks on paper.

In turn, another reason why your handwriting may be all over the place is incorrect, pen-gripping habits you may have developed over time.

To achieve good handwriting results, try holding your pen as follows.

Place your pen so your thumb is on one side and your index and middle finger is on the other. Your index and middle finger should be above your thumb on the pen.

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3. Lack Of Practice

This is also a factor that may be contributing to your bad handwriting, and in large part, it’s not your fault.

Many people don’t practice handwriting enough in this day and age simply due to the nature of the world we live in.

Most of our work, and in turn, our writing is done digitally on computers. Typing has replaced handwriting in almost all aspects of life.

This leads to your handwriting leaving a lot to be desired when you find yourself in a situation where writing by hand is necessary.

Your best course of action to counteract this is to make a conscious effort to practice your penmanship more often

When you have a choice between typing and writing, pick up that pen and write away.

4. Bad Choice Of Pen

Another aspect you need to be mindful of is choosing the right pen that works best for you.

This choice should be based on a couple of factors, including the size of your hands and how big your handwriting is.

If you have small hands, you should go for a smaller pen. This will make you feel more comfortable when writing and give you a greater degree of control over your pen’s movement.

Your handwriting’s size should determine the point thickness of the pen you use.

If you have smaller handwriting, you should write with a thin-pointed pen. This will help make your letters more legible and distinguishable from one another.

On the other hand, those with larger handwriting can use thicker, ink-based pens without compromising the quality of their handwriting.

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5. Dysgraphia


If your handwriting is exceedingly poor and you’ve tried everything to improve it but to no avail, you may, in fact, be suffering from dysgraphia.

This is a neurological condition that affects a child’s motor skills from an early age, making writing a difficult, physically painful task.

In the case where it’s not treated early, dysgraphia can affect an individual’s ability to write, even as an adult.

6. Insufficient Guidance

Sometimes you have to look way back to find the reason for your bad handwriting.

Unfortunately, some people weren’t given enough time as children to develop their handwriting skills.

This is often made worse by the transition from print to cursive writing.

Handwriting habits you develop as a child in terms of how you shape and space your letters stick with you as you grow older.

As more time goes by before you attempt to rectify bad habits, the harder it is to do so. Don’t worry, it’s still achievable through lots of corrective repetition and hard work.

7. Creative Personality

Some studies show that having bad handwriting might actually not be a negative thing. It may, in fact, be an indication of a high level of creativity and independent thinking.

Many prominent figures in history were reported to have bad handwriting. These figures include Albert Einstein, George Washington, and Agatha Christie.

8. Inconsistent Instructions

Just as not having enough guidance as a child can lead to having bad handwriting, so can too much guidance.

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You may have had many teachers instructing you on how to write in your younger years, with each teacher training you on a different writing style.

This can stunt the development of a clear identity for your handwriting, causing the shapes of your letters to be inconsistent and look awkward.

9. Bad Eyesight

One more reason why the quality of your handwriting may be suffering is the fact that you simply can’t see well.

This is the likely culprit responsible for your handwriting woes if the legibility and aesthetic of your writing have suddenly taken a turn for the worse.

In case this is coupled with blurred vision and frequent headaches, your best course of action would be to pay your optometrist a visit to check whether or not you need corrective eyewear.

To learn more, you can also read our posts on why someone would text themselves, why you are so ugly in pictures, and why you are scared of heights but not flying.


If you’re wondering why I have bad handwriting, there are several factors that may be the reason. These can range from bad habits and pen choice to physical/neurological defects.

To improve your handwriting, you should first be mindful of identifying the reason why it’s not up to par. After this, you need to take the necessary steps toward correcting those mistakes.


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