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Why I Don’t Use Fountain Pens

I own a handful of fountain pens, but I never use them. I love the way fountain pens look and the way they feel on the page, but they are simply not practical for my everyday writing needs nor do they perform the way I need when writing the Palmer Method.

In my latest video, I go into the details of why I don’t use fountain pens. Check out the video below and as always, contact me to let me know what you think.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rgsDqOk9A5E

If you want to know what kind of pens I recommend for Palmer Method writing, check out the Supplies page.

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Casual Writing and Why I Keep a Journal

On December 15th, 2020, I was scheduled for my first day of jury duty. I secretly wanted to be picked and I had a strange feeling I would be picked. I brought my journal to take notes during the trial and document the experience.

I unfortunately wasn’t selected as a juror, but that day I made my first journal entry in over 11 months. While I was dismissed from jury duty, I somehow kept the journaling going, which was strange as I always had a hard time keeping a journal.

Since then, something has changed in my approach to journaling, mainly in that I have no approach at all. I’m not journaling to document my life, answer life’s big questions, tell interesting stories, or become a better person. I’m journaling because I enjoy writing and seeing what shows up on the page. For the first time ever, it doesn’t matter to me at all if I keep journaling or if I never pick it up again.

I recently posted a video where I go deeper into this topic and try to explain my new journaling habit. Give it a watch below.


With all the journaling I’ve been doing, it’s given me an opportunity to do a lot of “casual” handwriting.

By casual, I mean not using my arm to write or trying to write my best Palmer Method hand. When I write in my journal, I’m often not in the proper position to write with my arm, so I use the next best thing: my fingers.

I still try to write my best traditional American cursive script, but writing with the fingers at a fast pace is a completely different beast than writing the Palmer Method with the arm.

Many people have reached out to me to ask about my casual writing. They want to know what my casual writing looks like and how they can improve their own. I haven’t thought too much about about casual writing in the past, but I’m starting to now as it seems quite a few of your are interested in it.

In a recent video, I discuss my casual writing and let you peek into my journal as I write a page in my casual hand. You can watch that video below.


Interested in improving your casual handwriting? Contact me and let me know. I’m thinking about putting some type of course together, either something for free on YouTube or something under $20. Sharing your interest and feedback will help move this project along!

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Excerpt from The Palmer Method Study Plan – Capital D

In this excerpt from The Palmer Method Study Plan, I show you how the movements for the capital D are based off of the movements for the capital O. This snippet gives you a great sneak peek of what you’ll find in the Study Plan video course.

Learn more about The Palmer Method Study Plan video course or watch the Intro Series if you haven’t yet!

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Why not create a Palmer Method course?

There was a time when I told myself that I wouldn’t be satisfied with my penmanship until it looked as good as Palmer’s. There isn’t anything wrong with that, but I would have quit penmanship a long time ago if that was truly my goal.

After four years of dedicated study and practice, I can confidently say that I will never become a great penman, and that’s okay. The truth is that I never really wanted to become “great”, but I thought that is what I should want…so I told myself I wanted it.

Regardless, I always knew I could develop a quality Palmer Method hand. I also knew that I had a set of skills that could be leveraged to create things that no one else was creating.

Over the past year, I’ve slowly come to realize that my primary role in penmanship is not as an artist, but as a builder and organizer. As I came to terms with my new role, it opened me up to create things that I wouldn’t have dared to create when I was focused on perfecting my penmanship. One of the first things I dared to create was Consistent Cursive, a free video course on traditional American cursive.

As far as I know, Consistent Cursive is the only on-demand video course that teaches traditional American cursive. For some reason this course didn’t exist, but I wanted it to; so I made it. If you are new to traditional American script, it is the best place to start.

Am I the most knowledgeable, proficient, or qualified instructor of American cursive? No, but I launched the course and people are learning traditional American script on YouTube, for free.

After launching Consistent Cursive, I said to myself, “Why not create a Palmer Method course?” A few months later, I launched The Palmer Method Study Plan.

The Palmer Method Study Plan is the first and only course teaching the Palmer Method, or any type of business penmanship for that matter. I made the course because I knew people wanted to learn the Palmer Method, but were overwhelmed by the Palmer Method book.

If I was still focused on becoming a great penman, I never would have considered making the course. It would have been too much pressure to produce a course where every letter, word, and drill had to live up to those standards.

Fortunately, I wasn’t thinking that way when I made the course. I was thinking, “If I don’t make this course, who will?” Now the course exists and there is something to help beginners learn the Palmer Method.

Start learning the Palmer Method today with the Intro Series. When you’re ready, check out the Study Plan.

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Why I Became Interested in the Palmer Method

For me, it was because I wanted to learn to do something the right way.

I wanted to re-learn cursive, but the modern resources I found seemed like they weren’t really there to teach handwriting. They were merely accessories to a reading curriculum.

When I found the Palmer Method, I knew it was what I was looking for. I had finally found a resource that was focused on handwriting for handwriting’s sake. The Palmer Method was created in a time when handwriting truly mattered and I wanted to learn in that traditional context.

As time went on, learning something that was unique and “right” became less important to me, but I developed new motivations that kept me interested in traditional penmanship.

Interested in the Palmer Method? Read the FAQs to learn more.

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A tale of two Palmer Method websites

I’m excited to announce that I’ve recently acquired PalmerMethod.com. PalmerMethod.com has been around since 2011, serving as a reproduction of the first 13 lessons from The Palmer Method of Business Writing.

I remember back in 2016 when I was first getting into penmanship and I learned about PalmerMethod.com from a post on Reddit. I had no idea something like the Palmer Method existed, let alone that there was a website dedicated to it and people were out there studying it.

While PalmerMethod.com was and is a great resource, I always thought it could better serve those looking to learn the Palmer Method. I started corresponding with the owner of PalmerMethod.com and eventually we had a deal to transfer ownership.

Now that I operate PalmerMethod.com, I’ve already begun making improvements to the site. The site is now optimized for mobile devices, ads have been removed, and there is a contact form so visitors can ask questions. I’ve also added links to ThePalmerMethod.com on the site so users can more easily find the new content I’m creating about the Palmer Method.

That said, I won’t be making many changes to the core content of PalmerMethod.com. So many links have been posted online to various pages of the site and I want to maintain the functionality of those links.

Going forward, I hope to turn PalmerMethod.com into the best resource it can be and use it to bring the community of Palmer Method enthusiasts a little closer together.

Do yourself a favor and take a trip over to PalmerMethod.com!

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American Penmanship Terminology 101: Palmer Method, Spencerian, Business Penmanship – What do these terms mean?

I see various terms referring to different scripts or styles of penmanship get thrown around with little understanding about what those terms mean or where they came from. In this video, I do my best to untangle the web of terminology surrounding traditional American Penmanship.

Summary

The umbrella for all of these terms is “Traditional American Penmanship”. In other words, all of these terms refer to traditional, handwritten scripts that were popular in America in the 1800’s and early 1900’s.

The most popular brand of American penmanship in the mid to late 1800’s was “Spencerian”. In the 1880’s and 1890’s, this type of penmanship evolved in two directions: 1) Business Penmanship and 2) Ornamental Penmanship.

Business Penmanship was the practical penmanship of its time and had its own brand names like “Palmer Method”, “Champion Method”, “Bailey Method”, and many more.

Ornamental Penmanship was used primarily for artistic purposes. It was taught at penmanship colleges and through the popular penmanship periodicals of the time.

If you are specifically interested in learning The Palmer Method, check out The Palmer Method Intro Series.