Writer’s Bump

An overdue look into the bump we have had for generations.


Writer’s Bump developed from the excessive pressure of writing

Aya Kasim, Staff Writer

Over decades and centuries, writing has been a fundamental aspect of the human existence. Teachers and students go through pencils within weeks, and as quickly as these pencils come and go, each written line is also eventually forgotten. So, what is left of the experience? Look down. On your fingers there may be bumps, remnants of the years spent scribbling, erasing, doodling, and note taking. Known as either writer’s bumps or writer’s calluses, these anomalies spark interest in students today, but may gradually wane from ubiquity as we enter a new age.

“I’ve noticed that my juniors don’t complain about hand cramps or soreness as much as freshmen when I taught them,” Alexandra Magill said. “I think because freshmen have to write-out their essays while I urge my juniors to type”.

A Writer’s Bump is a thick lump of dead skin that forms on the fingers to protect the sensitive skin underneath from the pressure and friction of the pen or pencil. These bumps are permanent once developed, but may vary in size depending on the extent of recent writing. 

Though a Writer’s Bump poses absolutely no serious health issues to its writer, some may experience soreness and/or throbbing from the use of a pencil or other utensils for hours on end. Dislike for these bumps sometimes arises because of their ghastly look. Because of these reasons, some choose to remove their bump through either surgery or home remedies. Others find removal unnecessary.

You are able to prevent a bump’s development if you have noticed it early. Changing and loosening your grip, using pencil grips to cushion the pressure, switching from pencil to pen to minimize the effort required to write are all changes you could adopt to stop a bump from maturing on your finger.

“I am an artist, but I don’t have a bump,” sophomore Isabeau Schoenfeld said. “I don’t push as hard as other artists do when I draw”.

Though the most common, a “bump” is not necessarily the one and only sight writing leaves behind on your fingers. A bit less distinct, indentations on the stretch of bone between a writer’s two knuckles are also known to form. Whether a bump or indention is bound to form depends primarily on where your pencil/pen lies–on a knuckle or between two.

“I hold my pencil different than anyone else and I don’t have a bump,” sophomore Lazarus Maldonado said. “When I was younger, my mom tried to trick me into changing how I hold it, but I like it because it gives me more control over the pencil”.

Writing, the pencil-paper sort, has seen a decline in the past decade. As the world comfortably settles into the cusp of a technology age, what will come of our bumps? Essays, projects, everyday activities are done online, typed and printed. People’s bumps are increasingly less apparent and regarded as nothing special, maybe an unwanted blemish.

“I do not have a Writer’s bump,” Alexandra Murphy said. “Throughout high school and college, I brought my laptop to classes and typed my notes”.

Typing is now taught in schools. The skill is desired by employers and higher WPM speeds are worked for each day. While normal pencil-paper writing leaves behind bumps, typing leaves behind carpal tunnel– a gross and painful tradeoff  for increased efficiency and speed. 

“As long as I could remember, I know since at least middle school, I’ve had a Writer’s bump,” Travis Brown said. “I think people are going to cling to tradition, no matter what, we’re going to have some bit of writing.”

Generations of humans have had writer’s bumps. Will we be one of the last? Our bumps symbolize a current society where one without a pencil and paper cannot learn. We are a society where one feels each word written and wears the sentences on their skin. All that can be said now is, appreciate your bumps. Our children’s children may one day look down and not find their life’s work right on their finger.