The grade school memories I have that involve writing are mostly good ones. Good in the sense that I have always loved writing, both the dreaming up of ideas and the corresponding act of writing them down. Bad in the sense that the physical act of writing was a bit more difficult for me since my hands were more often wet than dry.
In 3rd grade, we began to learn the fine art of cursive writing. This required the use of a Big Chief tablet that was lined with red and blue lines evenly spaced just so in order to perfect our loops, swoops, and curls. While Big Chief tablets are luxuriously soft paper-wise with a smooth texture, they are also a double-edged sword. They are NOT sweat-friendly. When I would place the side of my palm down to write, my sweat would soak through the paper before I could finish writing the next word. If the pencil were sharp enough, sometimes it would tear through the weakened sections where my palm had just been.
The combination of my love of hand writing things and having to work around my hyperhidrosis has made me a bit of a stationery snob. I love all things paper, and it annoys me when I have to write on cheap, low quality, scratchy paper. Here are a few of my favorite types of paper products that hold up really well to my sweating and feel very nice when you caress them with a pen (which I prefer over pencils and will be getting to in a minute).
I really dislike pencils. I prefer pens. But most of the time in school (at least until college, anyway), one is required to use a pencil for testing, homework, etc. I typically used mechanical pencils, as they afforded me the ability to avoid the use of the class pencil sharpener that was affixed to the wall. I hated standing in line (another trigger for my hyperhidrosis) and then having to worry about leaving the handle of the sharpener wet for the next person to use. I like #1 pencil lead rather than #2 pencil lead. It’s darker and writes smoother, but sometimes it’s hard to find. In the meantime, here are some of the pencils I like: Ticonderoga velvet finish pencils, Ticonderoga Sensematic Plus mechanical pencils, and
Pencil grips work great for making any pen or pencil more comfortable for sweaty hands. I always have my own pens in my purse or bag so I don’t have to worry about making someone else’s pen all sweaty when I give it back. My pencil grip of choice is made of foam for absorption and has ridges for extra texture and good grippage, like these Ridged Foam Pencil and Pen Grip, 5-pack. The Write Dudes also make these pencil grips, which provide some additional texture to work with:
The standard pink erasers are okay, but if your hands are really sweaty, you have to be careful how you hold the eraser. Once the tip of it gets wet, it can instead smear what you are trying to erase. I like click stick erasers. They are self-contained in a plastic holder and can be advanced click by click as you go.
I’ve mentioned that I like to hand write cards and letters to others. Remember my post about holiday greeting cards? My husband will probably tell you I have entirely too many pens floating around the house. In my opinion, one can never have too many pens. If you ever happen to borrow one of my pens, please don’t bend the cap or chew on the lid. I even go so far as to properly align the clip of the lid with the writing on the pen when I uncap it. I’m a bit particular with my pens. I take delight in the little things, like finding my next favorite pen that writes smoothly or offers a shade of orange I can’t find in any other pen. Here are a few that are sweat-tested:
Environment Control for Writing
With as many cards as I send to people, the journaling I do, and my quote book that I am constantly updating, I have to create an environment that is conducive to writing. This typically includes being at home, alone, with minimal distractions. I can’t hand write cards in a coffee shop, for example. It’s too much of a trigger usually. I can write my rough drafts there in my notebook, but the pristine handwritten version has to be done at home. I typically sit at my kitchen table to do my cards, where I have the ceiling fan on to generate air flow. If it’s cool enough outside, I’ll also have the sliding glass door open for additional ventilation. I always have a paper towel within reach, too. If my hands get too sweaty, I will place the paper towel over the card or paper so that it rests underneath the side of my hand and absorbs the sweat. Another piece of paper or the back of a notebook (if it’s cardboard) also works well to protect the paper on which you’re writing.
Parents, if you can afford it, spend a little extra money on the notebooks/paper/pens/pencils/grips I’ve mentioned to help your kids feel better prepared to tackle the act of writing. If your school has one of those community school supply lists, talk with his or her teacher regarding the pencil and paper/notebook supplies and ask if your child can bring their own set of supplies for these categories. A few simple modifications can really go a long way in improving your child’s confidence despite his or her hyperhidrosis.
Copyright © 2012 My Life as a Puddle