Monday, 20 February 2017

The pain of writing

A little while ago, I wrote about how I have difficult pronouncing a particular consonant.  Many people reading this have probably never heard me speak and so presumed that I had some hugely-apparent speech defect whereas the reaction from people who know me was generally that they had never even noticed which letter I have the problem with.   Fear of feeling self-conscious whenever I speak meant that I never did tell them which letter it was. I still avoid words which start with this particular letter if I have to do public speaking.

Which leads me to wonder if anyone has ever noticed the way I hold a pen.  I am generally right-handed (although I can play pool equally well either way around, amongst other things) and so my strange way to hold a pen isn't an adaption to prevent my left hand trailing over the wet ink as I move across the page. Maybe it's something to do with the fact that my thumbs will bend to a right-angle backwards, but won't bend forwards more than a few degrees...


For years, I presumed that everyone holds a pen as I do.  I love writing with a fountain pen and the tip of my little finger would quite often end up covered in ink; I presumed that happened to everyone.  I didn't really take much notice of how other people hold pens.



Recently, though, my pen holding has started to cause a problem.  On my right ring finger I started to get a little lump in the pad at the tip.  It was tiny to start with - maybe 3mm in diameter.  Recently I've been writing a lot more and it's definitely got bigger.  I write at least a journal entry every day and recently when I wrote a short work of fiction I wrote the first draft of that with a fountain pen on unlined paper.  But the lump in my finger has got considerably bigger.  Bigger to the point that I'm likely to have surgery in the near future to have it removed.

And so, I've been trying to teach myself how to hold a pen differently.  It's much harder than you would imagine.  When I was a teenager, I once tried to teach myself to write with my left hand and that didn't go particular well; I presumed this would be much easier.  I pride myself on having neat handwriting.  It's very rounded and flowing.  My Dad used to have incredibly neat handwriting and as I was growing up, the importance of neat writing was emphasised a lot.  So although I can make legible writing holding the pen between my thumb and index finger it's not as neat as I'd like it to be; I expect that's going to take longer to crack...