Learning to cut and shape quills is one of the most stumbly stumbling-blocks a newbie scribe has to negotiate.
When you’re starting out, you don’t know what a good quill is supposed to feel like, so you don’t know if you’re doing it right or not. Assistance in person is especially useful at this point.
When I was learning, Mordechai Pinchas was kind enough to send me a couple of ready-cut quills. It really helps. (Also especially worth noting is his tip about the Sharp Click – read his instructions; where he says A loud “click” confirms a good sharp cut and thus a clean edge, pay extra attention.)
Mediaeval re-enactment sites are jolly good for telling you how to recreate the mediaeval way of doing things, but they aren’t very useful for incorporating modern technology. Fair enough, obviously, but one thing it took me a long time to learn was: a razor blade is the best tool for cutting the ink channel. I was shown that particular trick by the sofer at Pardes, and life got easier.
But practice is the main thing. If you’re a beginner, it’s quite normal to spend all morning wrestling with your quill. If you’re a beginner whose teacher is nearby, they can sort you out; if you’re not that lucky, you just have to keep working at it. When I started my first Torah, I could get a decent quill eventually, although it might take me an hour or more; by the end of that year, I could get a decent quill pretty much every time. Practice.
Waan attempts to shape a quill:
Mirrored from hasoferet.com.