Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Behind The Pen: Analyzing Willie Nelson's Handwriting

In songwriting circles, there are hundreds of famous stories about song ideas written on dinner napkins or even the palm of a hand. When the inspiration hits, the inspiration hits–and there’s no putting off getting that song concept or lyric down on paper before it’s forgotten forever. The details of that copy are the bare bones of what will be (or has been) a song.

But what does the actual scribble say about the songwriter? In this instance for Willie Nelson, forget about what the artist wrote and consider the question: “What does it mean about how they wrote it?” What insights into the artist psyche can be derived by analyzing their handwriting? Graphology is the study and analysis of handwriting and how it applies to human psychology. In short, it is the science involved in producing a personality profile of the writer by examining the characteristics, traits and strokes of an individual’s handwriting.

The next job was finding a qualified and certified handwriting analyst that would be willing to take this project on. Dr. Donna Schwontkowski easily fit the bill. Dr. Donna is a Certified Handwriting Analyst and runs a website on the topic and shares her insights:

The handwriting reveals many insights into a person’s personality.

When a handwriting sample is written with very small letters, such as in Willie Nelson’s handwriting, it denotes that at the time of the handwriting, he was concentrating very hard.

The cramped letters within a word can indicate a stingy personality; stingy with his money. The words have big gaps between them, which indicates the desire for a lot of space in his surroundings and that friends should give him a lot of space emotionally.

Emotional Slant of the Handwriting

When a cursive handwriting sample is analyzed, it is relatively easy to determine the emotional slant of the writing. This indicates how a person would tend to act around other people and his desire to show emotions and express them. In the case of Willie Nelson, his handwriting shows a very emotionally volatile person. One moment he is logical and in control of his emotions and the next minute he is as emotional and passionate as a person could possibly get. This is a very difficult person to deal with in a relationship.

Similarly in the handwriting, we see that some words are written on an upward slant while others are written on a downward slant. An upward slant translates to an upbeat attitude, one that is optimistic. A downward slant translates to a depressed attitude. Willie Nelson needs balance in his life! Not knowing if you’re going to be depressed or optimistic from one minute to the next is exceptionally stressful.

It’s possible that Willie Nelson has blood sugar imbalances that he is not aware of. This could cause some of the erratic nature of the handwriting.

Because the handwriting shows erratic moods, it is difficult to know how to interpret some of the traits seen in the handwriting with different strokes. For example, Willie Nelson has the stroke of large looped letter d’s. This shows a lot of imagination, and sensitivity to criticism about one’s appearance. Thus, he often imagines people are talking behind his back about his appearance. If he’s feeling uplifted at the time when these little paranoid thoughts sneak in to his conscious mind, he may easily dismiss them. But if he is feeling depressed, he could sink into depression by realizing that more people are talking about him again, when will it ever stop, it’s his plight in life, woe is me…

It is possible to determine how a person responds to emotional situations with regards to how much of a tendency a person would have to forgive another person. This is determined by the amount of pressure used on the pen during the handwriting. In this case, Willie Nelson shows a medium to heavy type of pen pressure. This indicates that he is a person that is capable of holding grudges for long periods of time. Someone that writes with light pressure is someone that can easily forgive and forget, someone that doesn’t want to hold things against another person.

Traits and Characteristics

There are other traits that can be seen, as determined by the strokes of the letters. Below is a list of them:

Trait and Explanation
1. Self-degrading.
Most of the time, Willie Nelson makes a completed loop on the small letter d but there are times when he makes it as an incomplete loop. When a pen stroke of a loop goes backward and stays there, that indicates a person is self-degrading. This characteristic would come up in a situation where things may not have worked out like he wanted them to, and then he would proceed to be down on himself for quite some time. He may call himself names, feel as if he is stupid or incompetent in some way, or feel that there’s no hope for himself to ever improve.

2. Loves to travel
Large lower loops of the letter f indicate a desire to travel and also the ability to become physical and sexual at the drop of a hat. An example of this loop is in the f of the word “of” in the phrase, “best of friends”.

3. Efficiency
In the letters th, connecting the two letters together indicates a person that strives to be efficient. This trait is repeated at least a few times in the handwriting. The more times a trait appears, the more that trait is displayed in the person’s personality.

4. Doesn’t achieve the goals he sets for himself
The long tail on the letter y displays this trait. When the final stroke on the letter y never makes it up to the baseline, it is similar to never really making it to the goal. Willie Nelson has a tendency to quit in the early part of a new goal. For example, if he wanted to give up smoking, you could expect him to give up early in the process, well before he really gave it a fair trial.

5. Quick thinker
When the tops of the letter m are jagged instead of round and smooth, it indicates a quick thinker who is able to make decisions fast. A good example of this stroke is in the letter m in the word “making”, located in the phrase, “love is making”.

6. Enthusiastic
The length of the t-bar that sits on top of the stem of the letter t is closely tied to one’s enthusiasm in life. Willie Nelson is a very enthusiastic person to be around; the problem is that he can also be very moody.

7. Mechanical
When the letter r is made with a flat top, the person is often mechanically minded. This can show up in different ways – the ability to take apart and put things back together, the ability to play a musical instrument that needs manual dexterity, or even the ability to use one’s hands for massage or other types of hands-on work.

An example of this stroke is in the r of the word “never” in the phrase “may never see”.

8. Diplomatic
Again, in the letter m, the size of the humps determines diplomacy. If the first hump is larger or higher than the second and the second is higher than the third, this indicates that a person can talk to others diplomatically when difficult situations arise. It’s an excellent trait to have, since this type of person could talk their way out of difficult situations with angry people around.

An example of this stroke is in the letter M of the word “May” of the phrase “I may never see”.

9. Determination
When Willie Nelson ends some words, he ends them with a hard downstroke that extends beyond the baseline. This indicates strong determination. However, without the upstroke of the letter y meeting the baseline (showing a tendency not to achieve goals), his determination is most likely short-lived.

An example of the determination stroke is found in the letter n in the word “On” in the first sentence.

10. Honesty
Honesty can be seen in the letter o when it looks like an open o without any additional strokes inside it.

An example of this honest o is found in the word “road” in the third line.

11. Secretiveness
The letter o can also show secretiveness if it is made with an extra loop as in the word “road” in the second line.

Sometimes different letters will show different traits. A person may not always make the letter o the same, and any additional ways that that letter is made gives additional insight into the personality.
Dr. Donna Schwontkowski is a Certified Handwriting Analyst and runs a website on this topic at www.funhandwritinganalysis.com. She can be reached at 916-649-8323 for personal and private handwriting analyses.

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