Writing/drawing with your nonwriting/nondominant hand?

Reply Fri 31 Aug, 2012 11:38 am
Has anyone here trained themselves to write with their non-dominant hand?

Say learn to write with their left hand when they've been writing with the right hand all of their life? Or vice versa....

Can you write with your left but only draw with your right, etc...?

I was told that I started out writing with my left hand but my mother made me use my right hand and that's how I learned to write. I'm right handed. I always wonder if I was allowed to continue writing with my left hand that maybe my handwriting would have been cleaner and more composed. My handwriting is pretty sloppy. So on the lark, I've been starting these writing exercises using my left hand. Not very serious as I basically have been writing out the alphabet with my left hand at least one time a day this past week.

On a related note:
Also, recently the main artist of http://www.johnnywander.com/ webcomic has/had been suffering from repetitive stress disorder in her drawing hand (right handed). During the past several weeks, she's been training herself to draw with her left hand. You can see the shakiness of the drawings but also the progression of improvement in the subsequent weeks.

Ambidextrous people need not apply/answer this thread. Lucky bastards! Mad
Reply Fri 31 Aug, 2012 01:17 pm
I know you said ambidex not to answer, but here goes:

I am left handed, but do right handed sports.

I can write with either hand and can write backwards with both and upside down and upside down and backwords with both - at the same time.

That and 50 cents will get me a cup of coffee.
Reply Fri 31 Aug, 2012 01:59 pm
You're just flaunting your giftedness Punkey.... So mean yet so talented! Crying or Very sad
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Frank Apisa
Reply Fri 31 Aug, 2012 02:58 pm
Not sure where you get your coffee, but you are one lucky coffee drinker.
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Reply Fri 31 Aug, 2012 03:23 pm
As it happens, yes, I have done that.

The day I turned sixteen I started a job taking minifilm xrays in a local hospital. I figure this would be impossible now, but hey, that was then. Yes, I wore a lead apron when I took the xrays. The hospital endeavored to xray all patients, as it was part of an effort to find tuberculosis in the population. So, most patients except emergency were xrayed on admission, and maternity patients were xrayed on leaving.

Other than taking the xrays, my work involved developing the films (up in the radiology department; hard for a night blind person, but I didn't know I was back then). I took dictation when the radiologist read the films. Filed reports, delivered reports. Other than that, nothin' to do.

So, I bought a medical dictionary with one of my slim paychecks ($1.05 an hour) and studied up. That was in the height of my I want to be a doctor years.
I made my own dictionary of words that I saw in the radiology notes, and more.
I was a very bored girl (except for a few guys that showed up from time to time, another story).

Anyway, this is where I played with trying to write left handed. I am strongly right handed, except that, like my father, I used to bat left handed. (Who knows why?).

I improved. Never as ok as my right handed writing. Great time killer - I learned lots of medical words and got better at left handed writing. Haven't tried that lately.

Later in life I learned drafting and got speedy with it. Sometimes, not often, my hand would cramp. It would go away if I rested, wiggled my fingers, got some coffee, walked around.

Now I have an odd kind of arthritis associated thumb thing - tenar muscle wasting. I doubt there is any connection as I have it in both thumbs, and always drew/painted/drafted with my right.

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Reply Wed 29 Apr, 2015 01:33 pm
Whether the drawings are any good or not does not diminish the value of the attempts, for a number of reasons. In my opinion, the most important one is that doing anything at all with one's non-dominant hand improves and maintains brain function in many ways including preventing Alzheimer's and other types of genetic and/or progressive conditions. Writing and drawing would certainly be included on the list of activities that would force (in a good way) your brain to create new and fortify existing connections. I, for example, whenever completing a crossword puzzle, use my left hand (I'm naturally right-handed) since it is a situation where I would be writing "letter by letter," as it were, and always in all capital letters anyway. I also brush my teeth with my left hand. Then there are the activities that I ALMOST always do with my left hand. I say almost because I sometimes forget my intentions, reach for and/or begin with my right hand and then switch when I remember. These include stirring things on the stove, brushing my hair, using my iPad and my cellphone, pressing buttons in elevators or my lock/unlock button for my car, etc. It takes more effort than I thought it would to make sure that I'm utilizing my left hand whenever I can- turns out there are a lot more opportunities than I had originally suspected. For example, making a point to brush my teeth with my left hand was easy because it was like an assignment that I had given myself but the "little things" are the most difficult for me. It was 3 years after beginning the toothbrush assignment that the lock/unlock idea came to me (plus then reaching for the door handle with my non-dominant hand…sheesh!) Obviously, I've never been unable to press the button with my left thumb (minus some stints in a cast) but it just never dawned on me to force myself to do even the smallest things- and I'm still adding to the list. Just last month I started applying stamps to letters using my left hand. The warning I will give to you is that, for me, even now, these things don't feel natural and they all still take more time than if I was doing them on instinct so if ever in a hurry or a situation that requires maximized perfection potential I would suggest skipping the brain exercises.
Lastly, specific to your situation, is that you, especially, have something to gain by creating and doing with your left hand for two reasons. One, you were, apparently, born that way which means that, at its most basic level, your brain functions based on left dominance. Now, if you're anything like my mother, who was also forced to switch, that may be hard to believe since it may feel anything but natural or easily-accomplished when it comes to your left hand but, in terms of your "hard wiring" your brain certainly has the ability. This is fortunate news for you, which is the second point. Studies have repeatedly shown that left-handed people's brains have a much higher capacity for recovery. This is a bit of a funny thing in your case since it is the ability to actually be a "lefty" that you are attempting to recover but any and all strides that you can make in that direction will serve you well both short-term (improvement in memory) and long-term (prevention of typical and/or atypical elderly dementia).
Anyway, sorry for the lengthy response but hopefully you are still enjoying this new challenge and I wish more people were like you as this kind of mental exercise/work is so important and yet so often overlooked. Good luck!
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