Rediscovering the Pen
There’s been a lot of tech talk on the blog lately. Hard drives, backups, restores, laptops… Nothing wrong with that. But it’s rare that I’m the one to find myself on the outside of the tech bubble, looking in.
Recently, I’ve been trending toward the passé…the outdated…even the antiquated—at least in regards to writing. I have put away my laptop and picked up the pen and paper.
You see, the most creative periods of my life have all been at the nib of a real pen. So I decided to experiment and see if I could attract my absent muse with well-worn, time-honored methods.
For me this isn’t the simplest of tasks. When I write creatively, I forgo the disposable Bics and mundane spiral notebooks. Instead, I tend toward leather-bound journals with thick, textured paper, and good pens with free flowing ink. If it didn’t slow me down so much I’d use a glass pen and dip it in an inkwell. So I found myself searching through forgotten drawers, and dusty garage-banished boxes, looking for my manual tools.
I know that for many writers, these affections can put a heavy burden on the subconscious, but for me there is a primal energy—a palpable sense of creation—in seeing my words immediately appear on paper in a way that can’t simply be backspaced into oblivion. Also, from a more practical manner I can write much faster than I can type. And as the Delete key is absent, I inner-editor tends to back off for a while.
I’m still not sure if the experiment will be a success in the long term, but just last week I had my turn at bat as part of a collaborative writing project. I wrote my whole chapter—about 1,200 words—in one sitting. And when I typed it in so that I could submit it, I didn’t need to change a single word.
It’s been a long time since that’s happened.