DP: Apply Yourself

Today’s Daily Prompt is about all those little challenges we set ourselves. Some are easy, some not so much. A New Years’ Resolution, perhaps. Mine is to write a journal (daily entries), and I’m doing well so far. The Daily Prompt reads ‘Describe your last attempt to learn something that did not come easily to you.’

Well, I’d say the last thing that I really struggled with was re-learning how to hold a pen. Obviously you’re taught how to hold a pen in primary school, but we develop bad habits – especially through ballpoint use! Anyway, I was holding the pen with four of the fingers on my right hand. I had to keep quits a pressure up so as not to drop it. On certain corners of the web, this is loosely held as the ‘Kung Fu Death Grip’. It really isn’t suited for extended writing.

The main thing though, was that I knew it would improve my penmanship (handwriting) and also allow me to use flexible nibs. You see, a flexible nib requires a light hand, else you just get a consistently thick line. I’ve now got a couple of flex nibs, and they’re great. But that isn’t the point. However, for a long while I just couldn’t get it right. A member of the Fountain Pen Network helped me learn the ‘Forefinger Up’ hold, in which you don’t actually put any pressure into holding the pen. Basically, forefinger resides at between 12 and 1 o’clock, the thumb at about 9:30, and the pen barrel rests on the middle finger. No pressure at all is needed. It took me a week, but for most it should only take an hour or so. It’s because my grip was so bad. If you like, I’ll teach you!

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3 thoughts on “DP: Apply Yourself

  1. I read this with interest – mind you I was taught handwriting at school and (fanfare of trumpets here led by Goosey) I actually received First Prize in that subject in the London Chamber of Commerce exams for my year. However we were not allowed to use fountain pens – the old-fashioned dip pen and steel nib for us – it does get better results.

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