First Attempt

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So, I have been trying to do calligraphy for many months and finally yesterday started to realize what some of my problems are. All advice is welcome.

1) I FINALLY realized I am having difficulty either psychologically or muscularly picking up the pen to stop applying pressure after I have been doing it. It seems easier when it is time to press harder, but then when its time to ease up it seems very counterintuitive and I need to tell myself to do it. and it is very forced. 

2) Despite having taken several online classes, I am having difficulty figuring out exactly how to hold the pen and how to apply the right amount of pressure. I feel like the nib is scraping against the paper making a bad sound--it doesn't seem right and sometimes I think "am I really supposed to apply so much pressure that the two forks come apart that much?" 

Advice is really really appreciated. You can see the first sheet is really bad and the second one is only kinda bad. 

First Attempt - image 1 - student project

First Attempt - image 2 - student project