A trick to reduce handwriting stress

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.

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 pen, but keeps everything relaxed.