Not Always About Words

My journaling isn’t always about words.

Sometimes it’s about playing with colour and ink.

It is always about creative fun though.

Here I’ve had fun with ink using different techniques. I’ve not been in control of the end product and I’ve taken a chance on letting the ink form naturally, or organically on the page.

It enhances my creativity, I’m having fun and therefore I’m relaxing. It also makes my journal beautiful. And if I wanted to, I could be inspired to write about them images formed out of a type of flow. By closing the journal, one image became two. Opposites, mirrors, reflections.

The quotes on the pages do mean that the pages aren’t entirely naked of words! It’s nice to have inspirational quotes on the  page, and be reminded of the creative journey others have been on.

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Running Out of Ink

I’m particular about the pen I use and the journal I write in, so when I’m mid-sentence or heaven help me, mid-word, and my pen runs out of ink it’s more than an inconvenience. I might only have half a sentence written on the page, the remainder of the thought is then etched into the paper in a desperate attempt not to lose it. That is only part of the problem. Before losing the incomplete thought, and the next one blossoming in my mind, I need to get another pen and quick (would you believe my pen just ran out! Not only did I have to stop to find another pen from my handbag as naturally I’m writing in a café, I had to take a photo for proof! And to irritate me a little further I’m now having to write in black ink, not blue, and it feels all wrong.)

ink running out

It’s not as simple as the ink running out, the result is a series of distractions. I’ve now got to stop, and pick up the trail I was following or decide on the new one which is now presenting itself for me.

To prevent the annoyance of having a pen run out of ink, I might have about five pens in my handbag as insurance to ensure I keep on writing, especially if I’ve just been struck by inspiration, but it’s not really a safe guard.

I have pens stashed around my home so that if an idea spontaneously bursts into my mind I don’t have to reach far for a pen to write it down and capture the idea permanently. The fear of losing an idea motivates me to keep an over stock of pens. I want to be ready when an idea comes and I want the pen to be full of ink because partial ideas are of no use. No matter how organised I am and how much planning I’ve done, there’s no escaping an interruption like this. Unless when I think a pen is low on ink and I throw it out. But that is wasteful, plus if I keep stopping to look at the pen to see the ink level I won’t write. Distractions need to be minimised when writing.

When I’m forced to stop it’s like I was following my own yellow brick road in my head, skipping along, chasing an unfolding idea, next thing I stumble and wham, no road to follow, and instead I’ve got to stop and make choices. All forced on me by the process of running out of ink.

While frustrating at the time it’s something that unexpectedly influences my writing and redirects my creative expression, like when the wind changes direction, in the back of your mind you know it will happen you just don’t know exactly when or the changes it might bring. I could be in the flow of writing, capturing the creativity in the moment, being forced to stop is almost like some divine intervention and not just ink running out. The resulting direction changes the thoughts, or unfolding ideas, or the speed of creative flow, or completely sends me down another road in search for ideas, this is all part of the process of creative expression I’ve learnt to embrace.

So may your ink flow and sometimes may it also run out.

 

Which Pen?

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.

pen and journal