It’d be easy to argue that the reason most modern writers become fatigued quickly when handwriting is because the muscles are out of service thanks to extensive computer use. The real culprit is grip strength.
Photo by CarbonNYC.
For those of us born and raised in the computer age, it is hard to imagine how novelists of yore hand wrote entire tomes before sending them on for editing and publication. Almost universally my friends complain about what a literal pain extended handwriting is. I hated written exams for that very reason: There seemed to be no way to avoid feeling as though you were slowly crushing your hand in a car door all while staring down the clock above the proctor’s head. At D*I*Y Planner, ever the defender of all things handwritten, they’ve shared a simple tip to ease your writing pain:
Hand getting cramped when you write more than a few paragraphs? Loosen up! Many people middle-age or younger are used to having to grasp pens and pencils very tightly to make lines. After a page or two of writing like this, the hand and wrist may begin to hurt. However, with gel and fountain pens such a tight grasp is rarely necessary.
I failed to make the connection between my Bic-crushing grip and writing fatigue until several years ago when I tried out the peculiarly but ergonomically shaped PenAgain. It never became my favorite pen, but the shape of the pen forces you to write with a very gentle and light touch. Ever since playing around with the PenAgain, I’ve written with a light painter’s touch instead of pushing the pen into the paper like I was carving into wood. The outcome of the shift was seeing the same results on the paper without the writing callouses and cramped hand. Whether you grip your pen with a Vulcan death-grip or you’ve discovered the art of light penmanship, let’s hear more about your writing style in the comments.