I’ve been holding the pen (and before that, the pencil and crayon) incorrectly for as long as I’ve been writing. As such, my handwriting is pretty terrible and I’ve always been prone to hand cramping. Various teachers and at least a couple of parents have tried to correct this over the years, but I’ve always just ignored them and gone on writing as I pleased. I found my way easier and more comfortable, although the comfort would only last for the first few minutes.
I’m not sure what happened, but about a month ago I was sitting at my desk and I decided that I was going to start holding the pen correctly. At first it was a difficult and uncomfortably conscious process, and I would sometimes forget to do so, but made sure to correct myself as soon as I remembered. I soon found it easy enough to do with chunkier pens (like most of my fountain pens), but now I’m able to do it well enough on days I carry something thinner (like a Parker Jotter).
Consequently, I’m writing a bit more slowly and deliberately now, and while my handwriting hasn’t really changed at all, the new hand position has become automatic — I now just pick up the pen and hold it correctly. Since I still prefer to do much of my daily thinking ink-on-dead-tree–style, this small change contributes significantly to my quality of life, as I trade short-term comfort for long-term comfort.
“Next up is correcting my sitting posture,” he writes, slouching terribly.