Being Left-Handed

Technically I’m (sort of) ambidextrous as I play guitar, drums and use a mouse right-handed. We lefties understand we are always fighting (and having to pay extra) for the “left-handed version of $x,” but it didn’t dawn on me until the other day that notebooks are biased as well!1

I keep various handwritten journals / log books and it dawned on me while smudging my way through a note the other night that maybe I don’t actually have terrible handwriting. Off-the-shelf Moleskins and the like have been working against me all this time. A quick search led me down a rabbit hole of techniques I should have been taught as a child in grade school o_O

Let me explain for those of you “normal” people…

We are plagued by over-tight grip, smudging (we push rather than pull the pen) and some of us develop a “hook” writing style where the hand is hooked around the top of the writing line in attempt not to smudge the work.

The binding issue is laid out perfectly by Mike Conklin over at the Gear Patrol site (I’ve never heard of this site until my search) and he even offers a notebook brand I may try in the future.

With any of the thicker, more substantially bound notebooks on the market — the Moleskine being the perfect example — the spines are so stiff that they don’t stay open. For a right-handed person, this presents less of a problem, as they can fairly easily use their left hand to hold the notebook open while writing freely with their right. For me, this is not the case: the cover of the notebook and whatever pages I’ve already used fall to the right and essentially lean on my left hand as I write. It’s insanely uncomfortable, and, worse, makes it extremely difficult to get to the left-most portions of the page I’m trying to write on. Think I’m being dramatic? I probably am, but still.

Smudging… as writing left-handed means I’m going inward and my sweaty palm is smearing the ink as I write. The trick seems to be in paper placement and the tripod grip an inch from the tip.

Place your sheet of paper a little to the left of the center of your body, and turn it clockwise by about 30 degrees. It helps force your hand underneath the writing line, as opposed to trailing directly behind it. This prevents your hand from obstructing your view of your writing, and also eliminates the problem of smudging.

Two other useful tips are flipping your notebooks upside down and work from the back and to also use a ballpoint pens as they have quick-drying ink.

  1. Did you know millions of lefties die every year using products designed for right-handed people? []

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