I never realised how important it was choosing a pen to write with. I’d always been a little fussy, and I had a love for stationary, but I didn’t realise how deep this passion went, right down to the point of having to decide what pen I would write with for a particular story.
When I come to write with pen and paper I had developed a ritual on choosing the pen to use – without realising it until taking photos of my coffee and writing implements and noticing the different pens that featured. So it got me thinking about this process and what it might reflect about my approach to writing and creative expression.
The pen chosen depends on what I’m writing; poetry, journaling, first draft of a prose piece, or what pen happens to be in my handbag. But it’s more than what I’m writing.
When I started writing more seriously, I decided to treat myself and buy a modern fountain pen. I enjoyed writing in ink, more so when I was journaling or writing poems. The fountain pen was easy to move, and the ink flowed, helping the words to come into existence on the page forming their own type of imagery. I couldn’t help feeling like a scribe of old, and it provided some of the magical energy needed to create.
It’s not all romantic-like when writing, there’s also a practical side to consider. The ink cartridges for the fountain pens weren’t cheap and I would use them quickly. Also I had some cheaper journals and the ink would seep through making it difficult to read what was on the other side. At the time I was being mindful of money so I retired the fountain pen and returned to my cheap ball point biro. I can write quickly with this pen when I need to. When the images come, and the creativity flows, it’s important to catch the words, and not have to be concerned with a pen that’s not handling the heavy duty workout.
I’ve also discovered coloured ball point pens to mix it up, but I always return to my blue coloured pens. And black pens just don’t work for me. I like to see the blue ink on the white paper.
Thinking about the pen I use to write with gave me an insight to how I approach my writing and how choosing a pen is part of my creative expression, even if I’m the only person who reads rough draft. This process of pen selection revealed a hidden aspect of my creative expression that I hadn’t previously noticed.
The equipment you use to express your self is important. It’s not enough just to grab a pen and book. At least it’s not for me. I want to be using a pen that is like me; fits well in my hand, moves with my fast strokes to create word after word. After all it’s an extension of my arm, it’s the movement from neurone pathways directing the dance on the blank page, which in parts creates my story. And that’s why the pen used is important.