I've never had good penmanship.
I come by this naturally. My mother's penmanship, while readable isn't exactly calligraphy, and as to my father's . . . well, back in high school, I could (and did) forge his signature with ease by taking a pen and making a few connected jagged lines.
When I was in elementary, my mother used to reward my younger brother (who was more of a math genius and less of a language genius) with treats based on the number of books he read. A born reader, I felt this was unfair and wanted in on some of that action. However, when I approached my mom about it, she came up with a different deal. Instead of getting rewards for reading books, I would be compensated for notes that I brought home from my teacher--specifically notes saying that my penmanship was improving.
I still have one of the papers that my mother brought home from a 5th grade parent-teacher conference. It's about three pages, full of checks and notations about my math level, my social studies, level, my reading level, etc. There are places for notes all along the way, but the only note I really remember is next to "penmanship". There, my teacher had written "much improved". (She knew about my deal with my mom, and she liked me, so although I had been striving to improve the penmanship, samples of my handwriting from that time pretty much confirm that she was having mercy on me with this note.)
(Follow all that?)
Now, my handwriting is probably even worse than it was when I was a child. I think it's because I don't get a whole lot of practice writing, and I don't get a whole lot of practice writing because I'm fast at typing. Because I'm fast at typing, whenever I write something I get impatient because the words aren't coming out of my pen as fast as I want them to come, so I write them more quickly. Then the handwriting gets more messy, I get discouraged, and come up with more ways to let typing replace writing. And it circles around and around and around.
But, I would dearly love to have beautiful penmanship. Unfortunately, not dearly enough to invest the kind of time that would be necessary to develop that gift, as for someone with my native (lack of)ability, it would probably take an extraordinary amount of time.
Still, no one has ever accused me of having writing that looks like hen tracks, so perhaps I shouldn't give up hope yet.
(Note to my Willis and Cannon family--did you know that someone has created a typeface from Heber J. Grant's handwriting? How cool is that?)
(photo courtesy of tikurion)