Improve your handwriting with the the stress-free grip

One of the advantages of fountain pens is that they require very little pressure to write. This encourages a looser grip, which in turn means less stress and tiring. It usually works that way.

But when I’m in a hurry, under stress to write both fast and neat, or have simply enjoyed too much coffee, I find my grip getting quite vise-like. Then my hand and arm get tired. Not good when you’re trying to get some freewriting done or, worse yet, taking notes somewhere.

I’ve discovered a trick however. Borrowing an idea from Hogan’s golf grip, I shift my thumb and forefinger further around the pen just enough that their tips touch each other. This tactile feedback keeps me from gripping too tightly, and forces everything to relax.


The picture above shows my normal grip, the one below shows the stress-free version. Notice that the thumb and forefinger are pressing against each other rather than the pen itself.DSC_0281.jpg

At first it’s a bit of a funny feeling, because the pen no longer feels so firmly held. It also inhibits writing from the fingers, which is just as well when one should be writing from the shoulder anyway. Get used to it, and you will find that it gives you more than enough grip for a fountain pen, but keeps everything relaxed.

6 thoughts on “Improve your handwriting with the the stress-free grip

  1. It’s amazing how arm muscles can hurt these days. We don’t realize how many few hours we hold a pen for these days. A couple of decades ago, it would be normal to use a pen for 20 hours or 30 hours per week. Nowadays, it would be around 5 hours per week.

    I sat some examinations a few years ago and had around 3 hours to write between 6 pages and 12 pages of text. My right arm hurt so much that I had to go into training for the remainder of the exams!


  2. I believe it. When I was in grad school, and had a prof that went fast it could get pretty painful. Something about the threat of being left behind exacerbates the problem.


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