Writers’ Bumps: An Endangered Condition?


Photo by Jak of the Mast Cells & Collagen Behaving Badly blog.

The picture above of the middle finger is not me flipping you off. It’s not even my finger. I found it on this blog. I am featuring it here because it shows a writer’s bump, which is something I, and many other writers have.

These bumps are formed from the pressure of a pen or pencil pushing against the middle finger when a person is writing. If you’re right-handed, it will form on your right hand. If you’re left-handed, it will form on your left.

I once asked a manicurist if she could ever tell what profession a person has from looking at their hands. She had never considered it. Then I told her about how to spot a writer from their bump. I’m sure she was edified forever by this information and it changed how she approached her job.

I realized the other day that my writer’s bump is much smaller than it used to be, presumably because I hardly ever use a pen anymore, opting instead for a computer keyboard. This caused me some dismay since I rather like my writer’s bump and the distinction it gives my profession.

Then, I realized in horror that most young people probably don’t have a writer’s bump. They might not even know what one is since they all use phone and computer keyboards.

Truly, writers’ bumps are endangered. We just can’t stand by and let them disappear. They have been with society for hundreds of years. Somebody should do something about this. We need a public information campaign to “Save the Writers’ Bumps!”

Where is the outrage? Why are we complacent with the disappearance of this badge of honor earned by hours of slaving over paper with a writing utensil?

Cast aside your computer keyboards and your phones my friends. Start a movement!

(Smirk. I think not. I actually love the convenience and speed of typing.)

76 thoughts on “Writers’ Bumps: An Endangered Condition?

  1. Oh, Marie, I have one but it is rather deflated these days! Mine started in school and then continued on into college without computers. I did do journals by hand for a time and now am down to a travel journey. It still gives me pleasure to put pen to paper but I don’t want to give up my laptop! No, kids today would not know what a writer’s bump is.

  2. I’m 18 and I have a writer’s bump. I enjoy writing more with a pen and pencil than with a computer. I first had it when I was young but the older I’ve become the smaller the bump. I sort of grew into it.

  3. Pingback: The Year in Blogging, 2018 | Marie's Meanderings

    • Hi Marc. What you have must not be a writer’s bump then. Is there something you do alot with your left hand that could be causing a callous? Or maybe it’s not a callous, but something else.

  4. Hello! I’m 18 and I’ve had a writer’s bump since I was in kindergarten. And thankfully, it’s still very much alive and well (well it’s hurting right now because I wrote an exam today but it’ll be fine in a few days). Many of my friends don’t know what a writer’s bump is, so whenever it’s brought up, I proudly show them my middle finger (I’m not flipping them off, of course lol). I’ve always preferred pen and paper over typing because I feel that it’s easier to capture my flow of thought when I write the words myself, and knowing that I use more pens and paper than my peers makes me feel special and accomplished in a way. I like to talk about the cute little bump and show it off because yes, this is the result of hard work!

    • Hello Marina,
      I’m glad to hear that your writer’s bump is alive and well! Thank you for educating your friends about them. I can relate to what you are saying about being able to think better when you have a pen in your hand. I used to be like that too, but have been forced to use a computer so much for work that I’ve adjusted. Although when I think of something in the middle of the night, there’s no substitute for a pen and paper on my bedsteand.
      Write on and best wishes!

  5. I’m 20 and I’ve had two writer’s bumps for as long as I can remember! One on my middle finger and one on my ring finger. I still write a lot in college and very heavily so I don’t think they are going anywhere anytime soon!

  6. I’m 32 and I’ve had “writers” bump since I can remember. I however have never been a big writer. Think mine comes from drawing.

  7. Bro I’m 16 right now I’ve BEEN had this bump since like 12 years old… I thought it was some medical condition but I can confirm that it does get bigger whenever I write. What’s sad is that I don’t even write on my own will, it’s the heaps of school work taking its toll. I don’t want this thing to get any bigger than it is though and it makes me feel, I don’t know like- dare I say, not pretty? Dramatic? Yeah I know. Anyway, I appreciate this cute article. Did make me feel a ‘lil better haha.

    • Hey Jamie, I hope some day you will be more proud and less ashamed of your writer’s bump. It took a lot of work to make it! Glad you enjoyed my post.
      P.S. I’m a lady, not a Bro, ha ha.

      • It’s also called an Artist bump, I have one as well, I draw all the time, it has the same effect. I write as well, just not as often.

    • Man.. I’m 16 and have had a writer’s bump since I was 7.. I think.. I used to hate it but now I just don’t really notice it any more and am rather proud of it!

      P.S my writer’s bump is still going strong due to my interest in drawing!! All the best to your writer’s bump!!

  8. Hi, I have a dwindling writer’s bump. What’s sad to me isn’t the disappearance of the bump, but of the handwriting and all it represents. A handwritten letter carries so much of the writer (even when it’s an illegible scrawl!). It’s one aspect of the writer’s being. Like a voice. Imagine doing away with speech in favor of texting. Sure, you can hoard every last word that way, but is that really what we value? I love computers, but to lose the ability to write by hand (or, going one step further, to read handwriting!), would be a real loss for, and of, humanity.
    (Besides which, no matter how sophisticated your technology, without electricity it’s not worth a pencil, a rock, a stick…)

    • Hello Midi,
      Thanks for your thoughtful comment! Sorry for the delay in my response. I have been too busy meandering around. You are so right about handwritten letters – they are so valuable, and likely to become even more rare in the age of computers and cell phones. Letters are so much more personal. Not sure what can be done to keep the practice alive.

  9. I’m 17 and I’ve had a writers bump since I learned how to write. I think writers bump won’t be gone for a while. Nationwide tests (AP exams, SAT, ACT, etc.) all still use pencil and paper. For my school at least, most things are still done with pencil and paper (i.e. math/physics homework, history notes, book annotations). All my finals this past semester were handwritten, including a 2.5 hour long English final that consisted of three separate essays.

    I’m fine with my writers bump except that it gives away that I never learned to grip pencils properly. I have it on my ring finger, and I suppose most people have it on their middle.

  10. Oh wow, that’s a long English final! I remember those days. Yes, it seems like writer’s bumps are alive and well, despite the computer age. Thanks for commenting and best wishes on your schooling!

  11. I am 17 years old, and have had this bump since I began writing at about age 3. I had never put much thought to it, but apparently many of my peers have perfectly smooth fingers. Who knew?! I agree. An absolute outrage!

    • Hello Sofia and thanks for commenting. May your writer’s bump live long and prosper! From the traffic that this post gets, apparently, many in the younger generation don’t know what their writer’s bumps are. This is my most popular post, with dozens of people finding it every day. But my guess is there are many smooth-fingered people out there, too.

  12. I found this article just today and it did make me feel a little happier about my bump. I have mine on my ring finger which means I must just have a different way of holding a pencil I guess. None of my friends have one so I figure it’s weird and so I never really show anyone. I’ve been trying to hold a pencil less tightly and its helping, although my handwriting is super messy! By the time I’m in University, my bump could be gone! Its become kind of a part of me now so I don’t know how I should feel about it and whether I’ll lose it to the whole “age of computers” thing.

  13. I too have a writers’ bump, and have had it for quite some time. I remember hating it when I was younger as it made my finger look ‘weird,’ but it’s starting to grow on me. At age 15, I’m beginning to like it.

  14. Hello Marie, Im 12 and i have a writers bump. i was studying to see if it was a bad thing or a good thing and came across your webpage, it was very informative 👍its good to know that there are other people like me out there 😄

  15. I’ve had a writers bump since 1st grade. I really loved it for some reason and it was very noticeable around 4-5th grade. I’ve always loved to write and draw on paper, since that’s they way I express myself. In 6th grade I did a LOT of reading and writing so my bump grew and one of the books I read mentioned a writers bump because the character wrote a lot. I finally knew what it was I had that weirdly made me happy. In 7th grade I transitioned from a traditional to an online school, which meant less writing my essays on paper and more typing on a keyboard. I preferred writing on a paper more than on a laptop. I’m 14 now and a few months back, I noticed my bump getting smaller. I was saddened by this and started to write and draw as much as possible using a pencil and paper. I’m happy to report that he’s coming back as I push myself to write as much as I can in a day.

    • Hello Jazmin. Thanks for visiting my blog and for commenting! I am so impressed about your understanding of your writer’s bump and your efforts to preserve it (or him, as you say). I am happy to know that your bump remains alive and well.

  16. I’ve had one on my right ringfinger since preschool, and I have one developing on my left middle.
    I do both art and writing (I write with my left and draw with my right) and while a lot of times I do write on the computer, I usually draft on paper.

    Its kinda cool though to see 2 whole communities that experience the exact same thing.

  17. As an artist, I still have my writer’s bump (or in this case, artist bump) and I’m quite proud of it

  18. I went searching on the web about what this bump on my finger was called and found this article! I’m 14 and I’ve recently been writing a lot to learn a new language and it seemed the bump I’ve always had has gotten bigger. Little did I know! Haha, I want mine gone though~ It feels too foreign to my hands Lol.

    • Hi Alana. Glad you found my story! Please be kind to your writer’s bump. It is cushioning your finger from all those pencils and pens that are pressing on it. Best wishes!

  19. I’m in high school right now and I consider myself as part of “this generation,” and I’ve had a writer’s bump on my right hand middle finger probably since elementary or middle school, and I’ve actually developed a bump on the side of my pinkie from rubbing against the paper constantly. My writer’s bump is rather large and it gets so bad during exams and timed essays that i result to putting bandaids on my pinkie and middle finger !! I hold my pens and pencils way too hard but I feel like that’s how i keep my writing the neatest 🙂

    • Hi Liz! Oh wow, you have a pinkie bump, too. That’s the first time I’ve heard of one of those. Good idea about the bandaids for cushioning. Thanks for commenting.

  20. Judging from the other comments I’m sure you’re not too worried anymore about the writer’s bump not existing anymore, but just throwing in my two cents! Most schools are nowhere near ready to switch from pens to keyboards during school hours, and many students (myself included) simply can’t take notes digitally/just by reading, so we have to write ‘em out with paper and pen. In fact, “fancy” pens with fun colours seem to becoming more popular, (at least at my high school and the schools in the surrounding areas) and there’s quite a few communities online dedicated to showing off handwriting and calligraphy! Add artists (for whom even digital art requires using a pen, albeit one made to work with screens) to the mix, and I’m sure there’s no way the writer’s bump will go away until we humans find a way to move things with our minds 😉

    • Thanks for commenting, Maddy! Yes, I am heartened to see that writer’s (and artist’s) bumps seem to be alive and well. That’s funny about the fancy pens. Back in my high school days, the big thing was a large pen that could write in three or four different colors. History seems to be repeating iteself. Good idea about the mind-moving thing. Let’s work on that, ha ha!

  21. I was today-years-old when I found out the callus on my ring finger was called a “writer’s bump”. I honestly don’t know how I’ve never heard that term before, but somehow I hadn’t! That being said, my writer’s bump has existed for as long as I can remember (I honestly don’t know what my ring finger looks like without my little lump of toughened skin), and it’s still alive and well and very callus-y. There’s also a very small bump on my pinkie finger that’s a relatively recent acquisition. I think both of my calluses have less to do with writing by hand than drawing, but whatever the cause I am quite fond of both my writer’s bump(s).

    • HI Em. Sorry for the delay in responding. My dog died unexpectedly last week and I’ve been a mess! But I am recovering. Thanks for commenting about your writer’s bump. Love that my blog helped you discover what it is. And I am glad to hear that you are fond of your bumps. Long may they live!

  22. Hi there,
    this was the body-positive article I didn’t know I needed! 😉
    But seriously, I’m studying maths at uni and close to everyone of my colleagues has one of these… I’d honestly quite like to trade mine for being able to write on a computer, because it can be a bit painful during exam season. But their’s no way I can write my integrals and series efficiantly without a pen and paper (or apple pencil & Ipad or crayon & blackboard, but you get the idea), so if you ever need to spot a pretend-mathematician – no idea why you would – check for a writers’ bump!

    • Hi Kate. I am always happy to engender a positive body image, ha ha! Wow, I never thought of mathematicians as having “writers’ ” bumps, but that makes total sense. Best wishes with your calculating!

  23. Uh, as a traditional artist, ‘writer’s’ bumps don’t just come from writing but drawing too. and maaan, if I wasn’t so dedicated to my job, I would much rather have mine disappear, just looking at it disgusts me. I’m still left in question why one would find pride in these, but hey, do you.

  24. I have this bump for 3-4 years now i thought that it would get even smaller with time. Now i am 16 and its still there. Today i had alot to write because i had 2 exams and i was writing almost 3 and half hours and i just clearly noticed it now because it started hurting a little should i see a doctor? Someone give me advice please. 🙂

    • Hi Natalie. I am not a doctor, but I would say if your bump is only hurting a little, you should wait a few days and see if it gets better before seeing a doctor. I hope your exams went well – that’s a lot of writing!

  25. I was wondering what that was. Though funny enough, because of my awesome and uniquely-weird pencil-grip. I have one on my ring finger, not my middle.

  26. I have one on my right ring finger. I remember when it formed in 3rd grade specifically. I write and Im an artist. Never went away even during the pandemic, i mention it because I stopped writing and drawing. I now have a small one on my pinky where I hold my phone for school. Im a junior in high school now.

  27. I’m only 17 and I have a rather noticeable one, although mine comes from art rather than writing – but same otherwise! I oddly like my little lump, I find it a general piece of proof that I work quite hard!

  28. I’m a 15 year old high school student and I have a writer’s bump on my right ring finger. I’ve had it for as long as I can remember. I write a lot like A LOT LOT LOT and I hold my pen very hard and tight which makes me write faster. I searched it up on the internet and just realized it’s normal but not a lot of people have it. I just started changing the way I hold my pen so it can shrink. I massage it everyday though with vaseline. I’m trynna get rid of it because it’s very unattractive.

  29. I’m in grade 8 and I have a writer’s bump on my right middle finger, I’ve had it for 1-2 years now I think. I was just looking on the web to see if it was normal or not and ran into your article. I don’t really like mine because of how big it is although I’m probably not going to get rid of it anytime soon because of my love for art. Thank you for this information on ‘writer’s bumps’ it means I now know what it is and I don’t have to worry about it!! 😁

  30. While writers’ bumps may be shrinking with the rise of digital writing tools, the bumps on traditional and digital artists’ hands aren’t going away any time soon. I have a gigantic one on my ring finger (I don’t hold my pen “correctly”).

  31. It’s not sad to me that these are disappearing. I went to a K-8 school in the 90s where the teachers made you learn by rote, by copying everything they wrote on the chalkboard. I had such a giant writer’s callus that I used to chew it off. Now I’m 37 and haven’t used a pen or pencil regularly for decades, since we type now, but the damned callus is still partially there and my right middle finger is still bent. And yes I’ve tried all the exfoliating techniques. It’s a shame because otherwise my hands are one of my most attractive features.

  32. I’ve had one since I was in 3rd grade, I’m in tenth now, and it’s only gotten bigger. I can’t focus when I write on a computer! I always have to write on paper first lol

  33. I too have a writer’s bump! I’ve had it for as long as I can remember. There for awhile, i thought it was something else because It never seems to decrease in size, even over the summer when I’m not in school. I kinda wish I didnt have one but I’m not too concerned. I guess I just know that I’ll never be a hand model!

  34. Endangered? I think not. For as long primary schools exist, we are stuck on paper forever, so there’s no disappearing! I’m a student and I have a small one from just the amount of stuff school makes you do TT I don’t write in my spare time, rarely a little, but I am an artist.

  35. Hello, as a child I have a writers bump , I only found this by searching up what it is and why j have it but now I know and it’s not something I wanna get rid off anymore x

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