Wrist/hand position, technique

Hi, new student, etc. Personal story for next two paragraphs! I've always despised longhand writing--in grade school (not that long ago!) we had these horrible "handwriting books" put out by Houghton-Mifflin, I believe, that you had to copy out and turn in each semester. I'd always do them the last week or something, thirty pages of copying inane typeset "cursive"--it was terrible. I never really recovered from that, and my longhand writing has always been atrocious: I dislike doing it, I find my own writing unattractive, and it's physically uncomfortable. I type everything.

I'd been thinking of relearning to write--getting a book of Italic script or something and learning attractive and fluent letter-forms and so forth. But after coming across the online Gregg community, and reading the introductory material to the Anniversary book on Andrew Owen's site, I said "This is for me." I almost never have any need to write longhand for other people; except for little personal notes, everything I write is either for myself or will eventually be typed up. So if I'm going to learn to write again... hell, why not use a more practical system? So I printed out the Anniversary book, got out my fountain pen, and have started the presumably long, interesting process of learning. (As an aside: as a sop to my latent ADD, I've been walking back and forth between my piano and writing desk: read through a hymn, work on my consonants, practice a difficult passage, do some reading; it works great!)

But enough about me. As I sad, my longhand 'technique' is atrocious, and I really have no idea how one 'ought' to physically write in either shorthand or longhand. In both systems, I rest the edge of my writing hand on the paper, form the word/outline, and pick up my hand and move it to make the next unit. This just feels wrong! But how else to do it? Should the hand be somehow suspended, to allow the arm to control more of the action (as with the piano)?

Also, does anyone have suggestions for a practice method to develop good shorthand penmanship? I don't have wonderful fine-motor control to begin with, and I've been struggling to make all the various curves consistently and smoothly. (And proportionally!)

(Is it really the case that one cannot search MSN groups? I feel like an idiot, I must be missing something.)

Been having a wonderful time reading through this group and the Gregg websites, looking forward to hopefully learning a neat and useful "life skill",

-Christian Conkle

(by christian_conkle for everyone)