An Open Letter To The Child Who Struggles With Handwriting

I want you to know something, and listen very carefully. Because this, it’s important and I want you to know.

Your handwriting doesn’t define you, it isn’t who you are.

You are you. Wonderful, incredible you. Full of ideas and an imagination that the world deserves to hear. Ideas that if you think too hard about how your writing will look may never get on the paper.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep working on your writing and trying to make it as neat as you can. We should all try our best every day, even at those things we find hard.

It just means you shouldn’t worry if it doesn’t look quite the way you would like it to.

Instead you should go on daring adventures and describe everything about them. You should do experiments and record the results. But more than that you should remember to share all your ideas with everyone, challenge things that are wrong and stand up for what is right. And something tells me that you can do all those things wonderfully.

You see, once you leave primary school, no one cares about handwriting. At high school we don’t have handwriting lessons and teachers don’t mind if your letter are joined or not. You can write in the way that works for you, and if you need a laptop you can usually use one of those too.

I know you’re wondering how I know, how I can be so very very sure that even if your handwriting is perfect it won’t stop you becoming the best you, you can be.

So, I’ll tell you.

When I was younger I was you.

Constantly worried about whether people could read the words I put on the page, frustrated because I couldn’t master the very thing that seemed to matter or so much.

And the truth is that even now, I can’t join my letters – and when I do it takes, oh so very long.

But you see, I was stubborn, determined not to let a little thing like handwriting stop me being the person I knew I could be.

I did my exams on computer and later went to university – not just any university either – Cambridge didn’t care whether an could join my letters you see; they just cared about the ideas in my head. And when I was there I typed in lectures as well as for exams. 

And now if you’re reading this you’ll know, I like to write.

In fact some weeks 1000s of people read the words I write. They don’t know my letters don’t join (so shhh don’t tell them – they don’t need to know) they just know that sometimes I have ideas that help them to figure things out.

You see people like you and people like me, those of us who sometimes find things tricky, we become pretty good at thinking of solutions, we become, resilient and determined. It means when we want something- truly want it – we know how to fight hard and make it happen.

So this week at school I want you to remember that ideas matter and put your best ones right there on the paper for everyone to see. I want you to remember that you can do this, you can show everyone just how incredible you are.

And I want you to promise me just one thing, is that ok?

No matter what, always believe in you.

You can do this, I know you can. 

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One thought on “An Open Letter To The Child Who Struggles With Handwriting

  1. I do wonder sometimes why there is so much emphasis on handwriting… I enjoy writing by hand and can see many positives in it, but still, it’s so said that some children feel like failures because of something like this, which on a grander scale of things really isn’t THAT important xx #SpectrumSunday
    (PS. I’m impressed that you’ve studied at Cambridge. I went to Lund University in Sweden, which is also one of those old ones, full of history and traditions.)

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