Getting Used to Writing with a Fountain Pen

Writing with a fountain pen can take a little bit of practice for people who haven’t used them before. Ballpoint pens, rollerball pens, and gel pens are a lot more common, and there really is no secret to writing with these. No matter how you press the bottom of the pen or what angle you hold it at, the pen will work just fine. However fountain pens are actually a touch trickier than that. You will find that it does take some learning and some practice in order to master using fountain pens well.

So what is the major difference in writing with a fountain pen versus a more modern design?

There are a few basic things that set these pens apart. First of all, looking at the design more closely will help you to figure out what those major differences are and how that affects how you have to use the pens to make sure your writing remains smooth and strong.

Since the ink is dispensed to a very carefully shaped tip there are two main things to look at: one is not to press the pen down too hard. While you can press normal pens down, with these pens you could tear through the paper or even bend the nib, making it harder to write with them, period.

The best thing you can do is have a few pieces of paper and practice holding the pen until you find “the sweet spot.” When held properly the pen rolls out ink without effort creating beautiful lines as you write, but when you shift the pen around in your hand constantly or hold it at the wrong angle, it won’t write.

The best rule of thumb is to watch out for holding the pen too vertically. This isn’t the best way to hold these pens, even though it works just fine with the common pens that you are more used to working with. When it comes to writing with fountain pens, this style of holding the pen doesn’t create a smooth stream of ink.

Generally, you want the pen to be more slanted. Hold the fountain pen further up, more towards the lower middle, so that it’s resting on your hand instead of straight up and down. Many people find keeping the cap on the top of the pen to put a little bit of extra weight on it helps to keep that proper hold.

In Conclusion

Writing with a fountain pen isn’t an overly difficult process, but it can take a little bit of time to get fully comfortable with. If in doubt, just fall back on two basic rules:

  • Don’t press the end too hard into the paper
  • Hold the pen so it can rest on your hand and improve ink flow

Don’t be frustrated if it takes you a bit of time to get the true hang of things. After a few weeks of using these pens just a little bit here and there and you’ll be comfortable holding the pen correctly and getting the most out of every single use.