Remedial Handwriting, by Yvonne Hedges

JustWrite classroom a

Just Write - Remedial Handwriting, by Yvonne Hedges

Our first guest blog post comes from one of our own Scribes. And it's all about Remedial Writing. If you want to know more about Yvonne's school, read below or head to

I am a SEN teacher of 25+ years, now specialising in helping people improve their handwriting. I am qualified to teach handwriting specifically through the National Handwriting Association and the Helen Arkell Centre for Dyslexia.

So what do I do and why? Well, I am passionate about handwriting – that is my motivation. Handwriting is a life skill. I find those most in need tend to be children struggling with schoolwork but equally, adults and professionals like doctors have also benefitted from my support and help.

In 2011, I decided to leave school and become a private handwriting tutor, founding Just Write to focus exclusively on handwriting. With those tutoring the normal subjects, handwriting is often offered as a 5 minute add-on at the end of a lesson, if requested. This is just not good enough. In spite of technology, school work is still centred around pen and paper, because it is still the most appropriate medium for young minds to use to commit their thoughts, ideas and creativity, which can then immediately be shared. Without the ability to express themselves in writing, they can become frustrated, lose confidence and ultimately fail to realise their full potential. School life marches on and you keep up or fall behind. This is what I saw happening and decided to do something about it.

I love teaching but found during my career that whilst writing is one of the foundations of a good education, it is rarely given the curriculum time it deserves; and different schools never have the same standards or teach the same style of handwriting. There is lack of time, knowledge and human resources. We now live in a world that has lots of left- handed writers, so no longer should this be a problem as there are so many writing tools to help them. Definitely no longer smudging of their writing as was the common belief!  It is no wonder then that many schoolchildren fail to achieve a reasonable style and speed, and uncorrected bad habits and poor letter formation follows them into adulthood. How many of your friends and relatives have you heard saying that their handwriting is awful when the subject is raised? How many of them can remember being taught writing skills? I am sure you will have a variety of answers which will not be consistent between them.

The good news is that handwriting can be improved whatever your age. The trick is not to think of it as a finite skill that you are either good at or not, like maths! Handwriting is a skill like playing a musical instrument.  To become good at it requires 2 things

1. a good understanding of technique and 2. the desire to practice and teach the hand muscles how to work!


This is about how you sit, hold your pencil, position your paper, how your writing area is lit and how much you press on the paper whilst writing. These are all correctable and will naturally give you the best opportunity to form letters and sentences in a legible and consistent style. In other words, all the practical things that will support a good practice writing session.


This is more complex. If we try really hard, we can often write sentences very slowly, but beautifully! What is required ultimately, is for us to be able to write beautifully, legibly and fast!

If you don’t already play the piano, imagine putting your hands and fingers onto the keys for the first time. There are a lot of questions. What does each note sound like? Which finger plays each note? How do you translate a piece of music on paper to the keys on the keyboard?  How is it possible to stretch your fingers to cover an octave or more with one hand?  How can your fingers hit the correct note every time, without fail?

Practice in this context is the activity of repetitive movement and applies equally to handwriting as it does to playing a musical instrument. With practice, you are creating ‘muscle memory’. That is, the muscles in your hands and fingers learn the movements and positions required to play a sequence of notes or to write a sequence of letters. However, humans are inherently lazy and if we can find a quicker way of doing this which doesn’t make your muscles ache as much, or require as much stretching or effort, we will do it. If the end result is OK rather than beautiful, we may be happy with that.

This is how bad habits are formed and they become your muscle memory. With handwriting, the difficulty comes when you try to read your ‘quick’ writing sometime later, or someone else does – like a teacher reading homework, or a nurse reading a Doctor’s notes. It might have been fully understandable when it was written, but not at some time later. University lecture notes, as an example, spring to mind here!

JustWrite classroom aRemedial handwriting lessons with the right techniques reset the hand’s muscle memory to recover the situation by practising handwriting using the basic principles outlined above, in a motivational way. There is a crossover between some elements of occupational health and an individual’s level of fine motor skills that are addressed on an individual basis.

By this, I mean trying to remedy this yourself by writing “The quick brown fox…” etc. over and over again might have some benefit, but it is pretty repetitive and boring and misses out on techniques that underpin good handwriting. Getting children to do this can create a resistance to handwriting which is counterproductive and takes time and patience to rebuild their confidence.

In my experience, it is only a very few focussed people whose handwriting will improve through online exercises and printable sheets, without having prior knowledge of how the elements of physiology and psychology combine to achieve better handwriting. Most end up with an achy wrist, and convince themselves there isn’t really much wrong with their handwriting after all! As a teacher, I incorporate different activities and games as well as physical exercises into lessons to achieve the muscle changes required without the obvious but boring repetitive writing tasks, (or achy wrists!), making practice in between more enjoyable too. In just the same way, a piano teacher will deliver greater benefit over a shorter period of time than a self-learner can.

My success as a handwriting teacher is based on a one-to-one relationship with the student with a variety of tasks and exercises to keep interest and practice alive! I enjoy handwriting so much and love to see the written word, I even write as a Scribe for Inkpact 😊 

Yvonne Hedges - Scribe Tribe, Super Scribe

What I’ve learned working nomadically for 6 months

What I've learned working nomadically for 6 months

Is it all the rage? Do I work in my pyjamas? Is the coffee lady my best friend by now? Or am I going crazy not speaking to another human being for days on end (slight exaggeration, but how else am I going to make my point?). In this post I talk to you about how it was to run the Scribe Tribe since July, without a physical office to go to. And what changed since then!

As you know, Inkpact went through major changes last year deciding to stop having a physical office space and reducing the core team back to basics: Sales, Tech, Community and Costumer Success.

We started the “experiment” with a whopping 2 week trip to Bali, Indonesia, building bonds as a team as well as learning the new demands of our nomad roles, and then we returned home. Alone. No office buddies, and definitely no sunny days in sight. And here’s what I learned about the so called joys of working from home (or anywhere you want!).

What I love:

  1.  Not having to commute! Seriously, not having to be on a packed tube at rush hour, with sweaty and grumpy people who clearly would love to be anywhere else in the world but there, is THE dream!
  2. Eating home cooked meals, even at lunch time. Now, you must know, I always bring a packed lunch with me to work, even if I’m at the office. But the fact you can eat your food from an actual plate, instead of the container you brought from home and just reheated in the microwave leaving your food piping hot around but freezing cold in the middle, and (because I eat like a mammoth) having no way to mix it, is a blessing. Seriously. A good plate of home-cooked-evenly-warm food is a God send.
  3. Listening to my own music, not wondering if my headphones are too loud for the person sitting next to me, because there’s no one else there!!! I can listen to Musical Theatre original soundtracks or my beloved Indie bands without feeling the judgement! Oh, and spontaneously turning a bathroom break into a dance off whilst “Everybody” from the Backstreet Boys is playing may have happened. Twice.
  4. I can work wearing WHATEVER I want. Do I want to keep my pyjamas on until 12pm? I certainly can. Gym wear is perfectly acceptable. But also, if I end up waking up at 6am to film a self tape (yes, I’m still an actress, so it has happened), and want to wear a full face of make up and a nice outfit, I can! Oh, the joys! Although I suspect the post man has now seen me in such disgraceful outfits he may not look me in the eye next time he rings.
  5. I can actually. Work. From. ANYWHERE. Like, I book a trip to see my mom, and I can work from the same sofa I watched “10 Things I Hate About You” every day for a year when I was 17! I can work AND be with my mom. How can life get any better?

Now, it can’t all be roses, right? So here’s what I could do without:

  1. No work/home separation. I am not one to go regularly to coffee shops to work from, as I get super guilty being there for 3h with a single cappuccino in front of me, and dislike the anxiousness it gives me, thinking I am not consuming enough, etc etc. Also, who gets paid enough to spend days on end at coffee shops!? So I end up spending most of my week inside my house. In my living room. And I do have a desk and all, but if I sit on my sofa, I see the desk. Which means I see the work. It’s not like leaving the office and leaving it all behind. You live where you work. And sometimes it’s a bit much. Which leads to…
  2. No schedule. I’ve fixed this now. But for months I had no work/life balance whatsoever. A Scribe emailed at 11pm? I’d check the email. Probably reply. A campaign was running over the weekend? I’d stay home checking everything was running smoothly instead of going out and enjoying the weekend. My working hours went from officially being 9h-17h30 to being 9h-whenever I went to sleep. It did start to take a toll, and what I’ve done about it I’ll tell you in a bit!
  3. The loneliness. Yeah, it’s cool to only speak to who you love/want, instead of having to do small talk by the water cooler with someone you have little in common. But spending days on end alone was not fun either. I sometimes spend a couple of minutes more in the post office talking to Charles (the post office man) just so I can have a human interaction with someone else than my beloved boyfriend. Plus, he has spent his day in an office, surrounded by people, so having me nagging him incessantly in the evening is not what he needs wither. Poor guy.
My "office"

With likes and dislikes out of the way, what have I actually learned?

  1. I found out I am definitely an outgoing introvert. The difference between introvert and extrovert is the way you “recharge” your internal battery. If you’re full to the brim in social interactions and feel depleted when alone for long periods, congratulations, you’re an extrovert. If, like me, you do love social interactions but it’s when you’re alone that you feel yourself recharging, then you’re an introvert. I am a crazy person, and super friendly and outgoing, but I do need my alone time. Working nomadically has done wonders for my energy levels! I can be social all I want, when I want, but I also have my own space and time to fill up.
  2. I had to be told off by an actual doctor to start having boundaries. I now have all notifications off from my phone after 21h, and really don’t look at work related messages after 18h, unless they’re somewhat urgent (sorry if you message after 18h… I’ll reply, but only next day). I have put in place a plan to delegate tasks so I can actually have days and times off from work. Your life should never be your work, and I had to learn that the hard way.

It has definitely been a learning curve, but overall, I am absolutely loving working nomadically! I guess being able to put a load on in the middle of the day, and being there for when your online grocery shopping is delivered is great and all. But what I really love is the freedom you have to schedule your to do list the way it works best for you and go through it uninterrupted. Now, I don’t make my own schedule, I still work for a company with definite opening hours, so it’s not like I can be “my own boss” and decide to schedule a coffee meet up in the middle of the day. But I can travel. I can work from anywhere where wifi is good and available, and I can snack all I want (dangerous, I know, but I’ve been actually pretty great with food snacks!*). Also knowing someone trusts you to be independent and still deliver is an amazing feeling.

You must also know, that since the beginning of February, Inkpact has once again gone back to having a physical office, of sorts. We have some desks of our own in a co working space, in a pretty neat central London location (Piccadilly Circus), where you’re all welcome to come visit. But I am only there once, maximum twice every week. So I still get the best of both worlds!

Have you worked nomadically before? What did you think? And how many times do you raid your pantry a day?

* (Certified tip for not raiding pantries/fridges: don’t have junk food in the house! If you snack on a clementine, you’ll be doing good, instead of that pack of gummy bears!)
Tania, Community Manager

Why Bullet Journaling is not for me

Why Bullet Journaling is not for me

I have now started this organisation method 3 times. 3!!! And "gave up" a grand total of said 3 times (but actually it feels like about 857). So now I think it's time to rest my colourful pens, retire my Leuchtturm diary and call it day. And this is why.

When I roam the interwebs I always fawn a bit at beautiful layouts, spreads and overall talent from most Bullet Journals (or Creative Journals). I have pages saved on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and even Youtube videos of gorgeously gifted and quill genius people. And I know, I know! You have to make the BJ work for you, mould it to your needs and wants, and just have a functional diary management, brain dump thing that is yours. No need to photograph and share anything! But I just couldn’t even make that!

Let’s start from the top, and admit (as I believe most of us) I grew up with an almost unhealthy obsession with stationery. The best time of the year was end of August, because all the supermarkets would be filled with rows and rows of school supplies and I’d just go crazy! I mean, as crazy as my mom’s bank would allow in practical terms, but theoretically and spiritually I was in heaven!

Most pretty notebooks would remain untouched -they were just too pretty to be written on – but that didn’t keep me from adding them to my Christmas and Birthday lists, to which my family obliged and my collection grew! And I think that’s where the problem started. So many untouched books. I didn’t learn HOW to make them mine. They were just like a piece of artwork, to be seen and not touched.

Things got a bit worst when after taking one of them and using it as a journal for years (I mean, years!!!) my car was mugged and they took my beloved guitar and backpack which, alongside many other valuable (some only emotionally, but nonetheless valuable) items like my grandmother’s rosary or one of my mother’s rings, had said diary, and I just felt so violated, like some stranger would know all of my hearts desires, emotions and soul unburdens (realistically I know they just dumped it somewhere and kept only what they could make money out of…).

So maimed-Tania-sharing-time over, I think both these experiences contributed for my inability to keep an actual BJ! That and the fact I have some sort of undiagnosed mild attention deficit disorder, combined with an actresses’ impossible-to-pin-down-actual-dates-until-the-actual-date but also have a rehearsal process and tour starting in x months schedule.

So, if only for now, I have a regular diary. And a half used Leuchtturm notebook for sporadic brain dumps. None of which I would actually photograph and share online on a pretty flat lay. But mine, and they kinda work.

Do you use the Bullet Journal method? Are you interested in starting one? 

Tania, Community Manager

Being a Scribe

Being a Scribe

For the first proper blog post I thought I'd speak a bit about what it is to be a Scribe, and why we choose to be part of this community. I was inspired by a Facebook post on our group, where I asked the question and was blown away with the replies. I then, of course, also thought of my own reasons, and now I'm just compiling all these feelings into a stream of words. I hope you feel inspired and proud to belong to the Scribe Tribe after reading this!​

When I came across Inkpact, back at the end of 2016, I could not believe my luck: someone would actually pay me to hand write notes, cards and letters!? How could that be a thing??? Sign me up!

I submitted my sample and waited. I could say I even resorted to biting my nails, but I do that even when not waiting for important news, so you’ll have to take my word for it when I say I was anxiously awaiting the result of my application.

My yes soon came (talk about good news to begin 2017 with) and with it the lovely writer pack with my own new fountain pen and light pad! I loved all of it and when my first job came along I gladly started to write.

Now, my first job was super stressful, don’t get me wrong! An A4 letter jam-packed with information and I admit, I stayed up until almost 3am the night before my deadline to finish the job. This could’ve been reason enough for me to just call it a day and quit. Believe me, you mess with my sleep and I’ll resent you for life! (Well, maybe not for life, but I’ll certainly almost growl at you the following day).

But something made me stay. I couldn’t pin point what it was until my second job came along. Not only my personal joy in writing, the almost egotistical joy of seeing my pretty hand writing embellish a card (oh, Tania, cut it out! So full of yourself!!!), but also the message, the knowing someone would smile when they’d receive the acceptance card, or feel motivated to work harder, when the beautiful copy of the rejection messages inspired instead of demotivate them. I was hooked. That was it! I was a writer. I was a Scribe.

I started to dig deeper into the company, I met Charlotte, Andrew, and the office team. I enjoyed the banter and ease of the company. The inspiration of pursuing a passion until you succeed. 

I was lucky enough to start working in the office early/mid 2018 and by the end of the year I was also given the chance to manage the actual community. And that’s when I started to meet more of the other Scribes. And man, are we a great bunch! We have moms, freelancers, lovers of Nature, sippers of tea, curious, ingenious, smart and silly and overall “good eggs” everywhere you look! And I am so happy to be part of this group.

As for why YOU are a Scribe, well, I asked, and you all pointed out the obvious love for fountain pens, stationery and beautiful handwriting, the inspirational CEO (gooooo Charlotte!), the opportunities and passions, the challenges, the collaborations with charities, the freedom to work from home and on your own time, the talented people all around, and most importantly, the sense of community. Anything else I missed or you’d like to add? Leave a comment!

So now, our path continues, and we can continue to go on, not hand in hand, but hand in pen. Together. Being part of the Scribe Tribe.

Tania, Community Manager


Welcome to the Scribe Tribe Blog

We’ve dreamed it. We’ve planned it. We’ve created it. 

It seems we’re talking about some great work of technology, art or futuristic artificial intelligence! But it’s pure and simply a blog. A place to share and grow, learn and imagine, be individual and be a team! And the best part is, it’ll evolve into whatever we want.

Every week we’ll have a feature, a post, a conversation, an inspirational rave, you name it. 

It’s ours, and it’s now live!

Welcome to the Scribe Tribe Blog.