I am a pen-and-paper girl mostly – always have been, though I am adapting to the modern world.
There’s something about the speed of writing things down, slower maybe, something about the act of committing my thoughts to a page – the permanence, or the familiarity – which keeps me writing in a notebook. On a page. Keeps me writing things down.
And then the typing, that first transfer of my words from paper to screen, structures my editing, too, because as I type my handwritten ideas, they become more flamboyant, more poignant, more descriptive, more . . . real. I edit as I go. I search for what I mean. And I see more than words as I do it.
All because I’ve started with paper and pen.
As I read what I’ve written, I remember – more body memory than conscious thought – what else was in each phrase, which particles of thought never made it into words. This inspires me sometimes, and I tug on the thread of some lost idea.
The act of typing forces me to take another look. I like that.
It is what works for me.
My parents, when I was young, strove to encourage my writing, even before I learned to type. They were forever buying me journals for birthdays, for Christmas, for Valentine’s Day even, I think, one time. They had this idea, and I did, too, that as a serious writer, I would relish a serious, cloth-bound journal. They were showing respect.
I held a lot of guilt about this, as the beautiful journals piled up in my closet, untouched. The trouble was: Cloth-bound journals are too permanent. Writing, for me, was never like that. Writing is meant to flow, find its’ path, start over and stop sometimes, be ripped out and tossed forever away.
If you rip a page from a spiral-bound notebook – because you’re having a cranky day or an uninspired one, for example, and you write nothing but drivel which doesn’t need to be saved, in fact should never be read again by you or by anyone else, you can rip it out and there will be no evidence of the missing page, whereas if you rip a page from one of those fancy cloth-bound journals, you leave a lasting reminder there: In your sacred space.
Spiral-bound only for me, please.
But what about the pen? If I’m so particular about my notebook, you can bet I’m particular about my pen, too.
I’ve taught nearly everyone in my life (and if you didn’t know this already – you do now) NOT to gift me with a pen. My stepdaughter gifted me with pens once, a whole bag of them, and I was so nervous opening them, wanting to love them and have it show and worrying I wouldn’t and my not-poker-face would give me away, but she paid close attention to what I used. Bic ballpoint pens. She hit the mark. She didn’t try to second-guess me, upgrade me, offer me something special and new. She gifted me with the pen I love most. Love. That. Gift.
My pen-love is shifting now, though. I’m beginning to like a fatter pen, a wide one with a good grip, one where my hand is more open, not so clenched. Know what I mean?
Do you have a favorite pen?