If you're left-handed and are unfortunate enough to have an accident that leaves your left hand damaged, how are you going to cope when you can't even hold your favourite Lamy pen, let alone write with it?
Well, don't despair; with a little practice and know-how, you can learn to use your right hand instead. Here's how.
Wake up your right hand
If you're used to doing everything left-handed, using your right hand for everyday tasks will feel very odd indeed. You can begin to wake up your right hand before attempting to write with it by using it for more simple tasks. For example, start by using your right hand to move your computer mouse around or even just turning door handles. This helps your brain to adjust to co-ordinating movements differently.
Learning to write right-handed
The first thing you'll need to do is to get your pen comfortable in your right hand. It's helpful to choose a writing implement that you are familiar with, for example your favourite Lamy pen. However, stick to using a ballpoint, rather than a fountain pen to keep things simple.
Hold the pen just as you would in your left hand so that it feels comfortable. Don't hold the pen too firmly. This will cause your fingers to ball-up, causing tension in your wrist and preventing the pen from moving smoothly across the paper. When you first start using your right hand, it can be helpful to take frequent breaks to allow the tendons in your fingers to recover from the unfamiliar movements you're asking them to make.
When you try to write with your right hand, you will be asking your brain to do everything the opposite way around, which can be very confusing! One effective way of avoiding this confusion is by using a mirror.
Set yourself up at a table in front of a large mirror. Take the piece of paper you're going to be writing on and turn it away from you in an anti-clockwise direction. This will make it easier for you to write comfortably without trying to turn your hand into a crab.
Start by writing in capital letters, watching the letters forming in the mirror as you go. This technique allows your brain to translate the right-handed writing into the lefty style it is used to seeing. When you've mastered capital letters, move on to cursive (joined-up) words.
If you've damaged your left hand, you can teach yourself to write with your right by following the tips given above. The key to mastering the skill of ambidexterity is to practice. Why not turn the disadvantage of your injury into an opportunity to learn and perfect a new skill?