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Thread: Hard writing tips?

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    Member Briankp's Avatar
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    Default Hard writing tips?

    I've gotten to where I exclusively use my fountain pens (my main user is an Esterbrook (I think it's a J-Series). The only problem is that I'm a college student and I write... A lot. The Esterbrook is starting to cause some weird pain on the tip of my middle finger so I'm wondering if I'm just writing too hard, not doing it right, or just need to man up. Any tips would be greatly appreciated, thank you!

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    Senior Member naimitsu's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hard writing tips?

    You're probably pushing down too hard, which is usually a result of a heavy/death grip. I have bumps on two fingers from doing just that. The one on my ring finger just above the first joint from how I've always held my pencils. The second starting on my middle finger at about the same point from holding fountain pens.

    The only thing I can suggest is to try some drills to try to loosen up your grip... but since I still have a decently hard grip, I have no idea how to help.
    There are a couple videos on YouTube that might help. I believe the lady from OpenInkStand Art & Calligraphy talks about grip. She's referencing dip pens, but I assume the concepts and tips may translate well over to fountain pens.

    The best I've done is to try to be conscious about how I am holding my pens and loosening my thumb pressure as that seems to be what is pushing down on the pen. It doesn't always work and I still end up with hand fatigue, but since I don't write by hand for my job, fixing my grip has not been a priority.

    If you find something that helps, please share. I would love to hear what has worked and what has not.

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    Member Briankp's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hard writing tips?

    Thank you! I'll start looking around to see what I can come up with.

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    Junior Member Fiddlermatt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hard writing tips?

    I'm a college student as well (and I take lots of notes!) I agree with the above, you just need to loosen your grip.

    A tip from teaching violin bowing; practice relaxing your whole arm and the hand grip should loosen. Have someone hold your arm out horizontally and let go of it unexpectedly. If your arm remands stiff and doesn't fall you're too tense and need to practice relaxing. This exercise really helps students who want to hold onto their bows as if their lives depended on it.

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    Senior Member naimitsu's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hard writing tips?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fiddlermatt View Post
    I'm a college student as well (and I take lots of notes!) I agree with the above, you just need to loosen your grip.

    A tip from teaching violin bowing; practice relaxing your whole arm and the hand grip should loosen. Have someone hold your arm out horizontally and let go of it unexpectedly. If your arm remands stiff and doesn't fall you're too tense and need to practice relaxing. This exercise really helps students who want to hold onto their bows as if their lives depended on it.
    Oh wow, that just explained why it always sounded like I was strangling the poor violin every time I tried to play as a kid! It had never felt natural or relaxed when I bowed, so I gave it up and picked up the flute. Now that instrument loves light arms!

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    Senior Member Jon Szanto's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hard writing tips?

    Also, a properly set-up nib needs little to no pressure on the paper to deliver ink. This is so even for Esterbrook nibs. If you feel like you are having to press or bear down in order for the ink to flow, the tines maybe too close together, and the slit can be opened up with some brass or stainless steel flossing sheets. Optimally, you should be able to lightly touch the nib to paper and have a good ink flow and this, along with the above tips, should make your writing experience much more relaxing and pain-free. Pain should never be a component of writing.
    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

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    Member Briankp's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hard writing tips?

    Oh, man. Telling me to relax is like telling an elephant to get on a treadmill! LOL. I'll start working on that because that's a good piece of advice applicable to all aspects of life.

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    Senior Member Jon Szanto's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hard writing tips?

    Yeah, I hear it rarely goes over very big: Elephant Shuns Treadmill

    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

    ~ Benjamin Franklin

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    Member Briankp's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hard writing tips?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Szanto View Post
    Yeah, I hear it rarely goes over very big: Elephant Shuns Treadmill

    Well, I thought I'd just made up some dumb analogy but you made my day instead.

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    Senior Member Jon Szanto's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hard writing tips?

    Quote Originally Posted by Briankp View Post
    Well, I thought I'd just made up some dumb analogy but you made my day instead.
    Hey, we're all in this together (and *I* need to get on the treadmill, too!).
    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

    ~ Benjamin Franklin

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    Senior Member Crazyorange's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hard writing tips?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Szanto View Post
    Yeah, I hear it rarely goes over very big: Elephant Shuns Treadmill

    If the elephant treadmill is anything like my treadmill....it's good for hanging clothes on it.

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    Member Briankp's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hard writing tips?

    Quote Originally Posted by Crazyorange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Szanto View Post
    Yeah, I hear it rarely goes over very big: Elephant Shuns Treadmill

    If the elephant treadmill is anything like my treadmill....it's good for hanging clothes on it.

    I can relate.

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    Senior Member Crazyorange's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hard writing tips?

    Omg!!!! Perfect!!!

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