When I first began writing, I used to do most of it by hand. There was always something special about the tactile feel of putting the words on to paper. Typing is always more efficient, but longhand is personal and unique. Everyone’s handwriting is different. While my handwriting is pretty messy, some people’s words can be downright artistic.
When my neck problems started, I began having issues with hand cramps and fatigue when I wrote for more than a few minutes. At first, I tried to deal with it, but the pain became unbearable. I stopped writing longhand unless I had to, and I felt my connection with writing start to wane. Writing my thoughts out free form helped me transfer ideas better than typing does, especially when taking notes. I accepted the fact that typing was going to be my main form of writing, but I still had a spot in my heart that dearly wanted to be able to be able to put ink to paper again.
When I began getting treatments for my back in the past few months, I started doing research in to how it could affect the nerves in my hand. The weakness and cramps were something that still bothered me, and I was hopeful that I could start writing by hand again. I was also looking for something to use to takes notes or write in, because I was beginning to have a lot of ideas and inspirations for stories, and I didn’t like taking notes on my phone. I decided to get a journal, and after much searching, I picked a journal from Earthworks Journals. Now, this wasn’t just a cheap journal, so I couldn’t use a regular pen. I began to look in to pens that were of a better quality, and it turns out that cheap pens can also contribute to hand cramps and fatigue. I started looking at pens that are best for people who have the same problems that I do, and the consensus answer was fountain pens.
Fountain pens have always interested me, but they have always seemed daunting. I always viewed them as potentially messy and a hassle to deal with. I really did not know much about them besides the fact that they were expensive. Boy, was I wrong about all of that. I started looking in to them seriously when I read that the major factor behind hand cramps and fatigue was the pressure you have push down with to use a ballpoint pen, and the grip you have to use to apply that pressure. A fountain pen can relieve that because the ink flows better, and does not require a hard grip if the pen is well balanced. I was sold on that part alone, but there were a lot of other things that make fountain pens appealing to everyday writers.
Fountain pens come in all shapes and sizes, and can range in price from a few bucks to ARE YOU F’N CRAZY?! If you aren’t sure if fountain pens are for you, there are disposable ones. Don’t like dealing with bottled ink? Most brands are capable of accepting ink cartridges. Most fountain pens are built to be low maintenance, and anyone can learn how to clean and repair their pen. You can also choose the nib or tip size to suit your needs, from extra fine, fine, medium, or broad. These pens aren’t just for the elite society or old world. They can be used in all parts of your daily life.
When I began searching for the right fountain pen, I ran through about 15 sites and at least 30 YouTube videos before I narrowed my choices to what I thought would suit me best. The site I chose was Goulet Pens, because they have the best selection and prices across the board. They also have in-depth knowledge that they share via their blog and YouTube videos. If you still have questions, their customer support teams will answer anything you need.
I waffled for two weeks between 3 pens, but I ultimately settled on the Lamy Al-Star Orange with a fine point nib. I could have debated for longer, but I knew this pen was the one I really wanted. I wasn’t sure about the nib size, but looking back, I am glad I chose fine over medium.
This pen is awesome. I can write without my hand cramping or feeling tired. Normally I would have to shake out my hand or stop writing, but I don’t feel the need with this pen. I can write until my ideas or the pen dries up, which ever happens first. I went with cartridges at first, but I quickly switched to bottled ink and a converter. Bottled ink looks so much better, and the pen feels less scratchy. For anyone looking for good bottled ink, Noodler’s is the way to go. I am still waiting on my journal to arrive from England, but this pen makes writing a joy again.
Finding the perfect pen is a journey, and I feel like I will end up collecting more fountain pens. I am glad that I figured out that they are not as intimidating as they seemed. I have found that I enjoy tinkering with it, and I will become more and more comfortable with how a fountain pen works. If you suffer some of the same problems I do with your hand while writing, I urge you to explore fountain pens. They may help you out, and it may assist you in rediscovering an enjoyment in writing. Don’t take my word for it, though. Go explore for yourself, and you will see that fountain pens can be beautiful, useful, and can last a lifetime if you take care of them. Thanks for reading.