Adapts to fit…

Image source: giphy

The laboriously written sentence looked as if it had been scrawled by a five year old making their first attempt at joined up writing… or a centenarian making their last. The lines of the script were uncertain and badly formed, the flow stuttered and trembled across the page. Visions of drunken spiders crawling through spilled ink on the page…and my first teacher shaking her head and sighing. Writing left-handed really isn’t easy when your right hand is dominant.

It had been an experiment. I, who write longhand every day, who wield both pen and brush with confidence and for whom the written word is a delight… had felt completely at a loss the moment the pen was in the ‘wrong’ hand. It did not feel right… I didn’t even know how to hold the thing to make a mark on the paper. The spatial orientation felt all wrong. The visibility of the forming words was different. I was convinced that I wouldn’t be able to write anything with my left hand. There was no pressure… nothing was hanging on my ability to do so. Even so, the physical ‘wrongness’ of the attempt induced a feeling of panic. The unfamiliarity of the action of hand and pen demanded all my concentration and the single phrase, that had taken seconds with my right hand, took over a minute to write.

I was, therefore, surprised by the result….it was at least legible. All the letters were there, if a bit on the wonky side. It wasn’t anywhere near as bad as I had expected, drunken spiders aside, though it had none of the confidence of my usual script. Even so, it just proved that the panic had been unfounded and that you can learn new skills at any age if you have to or choose to. From left handed writing, I went on to carpentry, via cookery, plumbing and sewing that day… and then got the paint out for some cosmetic decorating. I’m far from being a handywoman, but you do what needs to be done and if you don’t know the right way, you find a way.

Human beings are incredibly adaptable. Which is probably just as well.

Continue reading at The Silent Eye

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email:
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5 Responses to Adapts to fit…

  1. So true, Sue! As long as you can read it, its fantastic. Sometimes my longhand writings looks like shorthand, and after some months i cant read it by myself. LoL I explain it to myself as crypto writing, some future generations can use. 😉 Best wishes, Michael


  2. I know a lot of partially ambidextrous. Garry writes with his right hand, but throws left-handed, for example. My mother, though, was completely ambidextrous. She could write with both hands, play tennis or ping-pong with both hands — and equally well with both. None of her kids inherited it. All of us turned out to be standardly right-handed.

    I tried writing left-handed and I, like you, sort of can. Not exactly elegant writing, but at least readable which is more than you can say about my regular handwriting — which I can’t read at all. it’s become a total scrawl. Years of keyboard work have essentially eliminated handwriting.

    In my mother’s generation — and to a degree in Garry’s — lefthanded children were not allowed to write lefthanded. They were forced to work right-handed. It produced some strange mental issues. I’ve always wondered if Garry was one of those kids, because really, the ONLY thing he does right-handed IS write. There’s a lot of information about this and how your brain alters when you are forced to use the ‘wrong” hand. it’s interesting.


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