I write just beautifully on paper! But faced with a cake and a piping bag, I am a total dimwit. I bought the Wilton letter press thingy to use, but I would really like to learn to write properly in freehand!
practice, practice, practice thats the way I got better. You can also try steadying your piping hand with your other free hand
If I am printing words, I rest my elbow on a jelly jar or something.
If I am writing in cursive, I move my whole body forward and back instead of just my hands/arms.
It also helps if you can print out a font on paper and use it as a guide.
There is a book out by Mary Ford (from the UK) I think the title is Writting on (OR is it in?) Icing.
It is a life saver for me! I prop that book in front of me and copy stroke by stroke I still have trouble (after 25+ rys) sometimes - especially if I'm in a hurry.
As the others have said, practice, practice, practice.........it does help
There'e nothing wrong with using the presses. It's just a tool for cake decorating, the same as your icing bags and tips, your special shaped pans, your fondant molds and cutters. There are presses in various writing styles, print and cursive.
I love using the pattern transfer technique with piping gel. That way I can choose whatever font I want, size it correctly for the cake, and never have to worry about my words slanting up or down, or my letters being different sizes, or not being equidistant...it's just such a simple but wonderful way to get a message on a cake.
Take a class in calligraphy! It sure helped me.
I SUCK AT WRITING WHAT IS A PRESS AN WHERE CAN I GET ONE!?
Wilton has several press sets. You press this plastic piece on your icing and it leaves an impression that you can trace over w/icing.
I have found that if the piping bag is only perhaps 1/3 full it is easier to write. Steady your piping bag by just touching the side of it. You should write with your arms and not just your hand. I have also found that it is easier to write when you start and stop the letters as much as you can. It will tend to be straighter if you do. My writing is never continuous and you can see the breaks between the letters. I practiced on wax paper or anything that would give me a flat surface.
One word: Tappits!
.....all of the above ...and stand with your feet about 15" apart, when you write. This will let you move across the cake without getting off balance which interrupts the flow of the icing. Your weight shifts from the left foot over to the right foot and your arms are kept steady the entire time. Try it...it works. I also like to make the letters tall and skinny because your arms are moving in a forward, downward motion, as you write. If you try to write with round, fat letters..the movement is also side to side and it throws the rhythm off.
I took 2 calligraphy courses and they helped tremendously!
Or do like me - avoid it at all cost! I am with Bobwonderbuns, I use Tappits. If not the right font I sometimes print out a font and trace the letters in RI and transfer to cake when dry.
I have found that the slower you try and write with a bag the worse it is, that is if you are writting in cursive. I do not fill the bag real full, and once I get going I don't stop. I use my free hand to help touch the bag as I go, that helps to steady it. Try and keep your pressure the same until you come to the end of a word then back off. I keep my wrist straight and use my arm to go up and down.