Saturday, December 29, 2007

More on Handwriting

Yesterday, I mentioned that I was working on my handwriting using the Vimala Rodgers' book
Your Handwriting Can Change Your Life and decided to expand on a bit on that subject.

How did I get here...attempting to change the handwriting that has served me for Lo, These Many Years?

Amelia and Erin (who have young children) have both been curious at different times about Montessori education. I'd also heard about Waldorf Schools, though I knew less about them. Research into the Waldorf system led to Vimala Rodgers, who has worked with school systems across the country and whose handwriting style has been incorporated into many Waldorf schools.

(slight digression, this excellent article compares the two methods, giving a better insight into both Waldorf and Montessori...and, uh, I had to increase the text size on the article)

That is the most recent interest in handwriting, but about 10 years ago, I met a friend of my best friend's family. The woman was a trained graphologist and worked with insurance companies and the occasionally the police, making determinations about individuals based on handwriting. Fascinating stuff.

I was hooked and went to the library, checked out several books on handwriting analysis, and found one I really liked, Handwriting Analysis: Putting It to Work for You by Andrea McNichol, an excellent presentation of material with tons of examples, some from famous people. I didn't want to return it to the library and renewed it a couple of times, but eventually I gave in and bought a copy. Handwriting analysis is truly an intriguing, surprising, and fascinating subject.

This past spring, my sister-in-law attended a workshop that dealt in part with the importance of handwriting and a bit about analysis. We often discuss developments in education, and she attends some great workshops (she is an adaptive P.E. teacher who works mostly with children with serious physical problems). Anyway, I ordered a copy of McNichol's book for her because I couldn't find mine...which is here somewhere...unless I loaned it to someone. Another search for the book is in order, and if I can't find it, I'm ordering another one.

So my interest in handwriting , graphology, and graphotherapy is not new. Rodgers' book, however, concentrates on teaching the Vimala Alphabet, which is very different from the old Palmer Style. The Vimala Alphabet has simplified letter formation and is sometimes called print-script, as many letters are formed without the connection to the next letter.

I am continue to practice, and I hope to be able to read my own journal entries at some point, instead of wondering what the heck this or that word is. The practice itself is - for me - a very calming activity. Now that I think about it, it is very similar to the feeling of hand quilting, knitting, or crocheting. If my improved handwriting results in an improved quality of life, that is a bonus that I'm more than willing to accept.


  1. I just ordered the books from Inter Library Loan. Thanks for posting about them !

  2. Both Vamila and Kate gladstone recommend a printscript type of handwriting. I believe Kate's is caled Italian italic and she tries to get doctors and businessmen to use her style to make their writing legible. Changing your handwriting can indeed change you and thus your life.I have been studying and working with graphology for 15 years now and it is indeed facination. I recently worked on analyses of some deceased scientists and when my findings were sent to people who had known the men personally it was funny to read what they said. My coment that one man was a collector of knowledge was met with the statement that he had been given a large amount of books and papers on his field of interest but did that make him a collector? What do you think?

  3. Being able to read my own handwriting? Now, that's a reason to get the book and do the work.

  4. hwexpert - I agree that it is a field that would keep one interested and curious!

    Kim - I have to write so slowly because my hand tries to get ahead of my brain - which is attempting to keep the new formations in mind. Just that, slowing down, makes my writing more legible.

  5. fascinating stuff indeed! I too have been quite interested in handwriting analysis -many years ago I remember even having my handwriting 'professionally' interpreted. although my handwriting hasn't really changed that much over the course of the last 25 years I seem to go through spells of its degrees of legibility.

    I am quite curious about the thesis of rodger's book and am off to see if it available through our library loan system!

    and thanks for the link on the article comparing the waldorf and montessori philosophies. likewise I am quite interested in such things.

    happy new year! bises, k

  6. Kim --Both Rodgers and McNichol believe that changing the formation of letters can change certain aspects of your life. I think it comes from practicing the letter and keeping in mind what you would like to change or improve in. Forming that connection of thought and action evidently can cause changes in behavior and thinking.

    Did you find the interpretation of your handwriting accurate?

  7. I do remember at the time I was impressed with the accuracy of the analysis - however I don't remember the specifics and it would be interesting to have it done again.

    our library does have the rodgers book and I have it on hold.

  8. Kim - I remember some discoveries I made from McNichol's book that made me uncomfortable because of their accuracy and that I went about trying to change.

    The Vimala approach is more from the view of concentrating on traits you would like to move to center stage. A very positive approach -- if you want to improve your ability to communicate or be able to set boundaries, you work on these letters. Not "you are a poor communicator and let people walk all over you."

    It is also a very simple, streamlined writing, somewhere between printing and cursive.

  9. I have always been interested in handwriting and read that book by Andrea McNichol a few years ago...I love doing little analyses of handwriting that I come into contact with and I can always tell changes in my mood by looking at my writing. I just added Vimala Rodgers' book to my wishlist at amazon.

  10. Rebekah -- I can tell a lot about my mood from looking at my journal pages, too. I really enjoyed the McNichol book because of all of the examples...fascinating to examine. Rodgers' book is very different, but I like it a lot and am still practicing.

    I like having these two different views: McNichols' book with the emphasis on analysis and Rogers' book with the emphasis on shaping your handwriting and your behavior.


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