You want to be a writer, but you don’t know how or when. Find a quiet place; use a humble pen.
Recently I received a question on my Almost Daily Doodle Instagram feed. “What kind of software do you use?” I had to laugh. I guess the software would be my hand and my hardware would be my pens. Years ago when I had to make money I did much of my illustration work by computer but I found working by hand so much more intimate and enjoyable.
I began my love affair with pens in elementary school in the early 1960s. In the third grade, there was this rite of passage where we all learned cursive handwriting. It was time to put away those rotund pencils they gave in first and second grade to learn our letters with the privilege of using a pen. This was the first taste of the grown-up world and we relished it. My girlfriends and I were particularly fond of adding stylish curlicues to our letters and using flowers to dot our Is. Then there was the endless practice of refining our signatures.
To showcase our newfound skills we begged our parents to buy us Shaeffer fountain pens that used little ink cartridges. Blue was the preferred color of the day. It was a badge of honor to have a blue knuckle on your middle finger where those pens would at times leak.
Many schools have dropped cursive handwriting in favor of keyboarding. It’s a shame since there are documented benefits to the brain in the areas of thinking, memory, and creativity when you write with pen to paper. I do most of my writing by hand first before typing on a computer. My pen helps me think.
In my twenties, I became an accomplished calligrapher with all manner of dip pens until carpal tunnel syndrome in my right hand curtailed that pursuit. I’ve had all kinds of artistic endeavors since but now in my 60s, I’ve returned to the simplicity of pen to paper to do my artwork.
I have a variety of sketch pens I use- nothing too expensive. Recently I’ve switched from Microns to Hi-Tech and now Uniball Signo. Recently while perusing the Jet Pens website for a reorder I came across their fountain pen section. One can spend a fair amount of money on a fountain pen but I found a Pilot Metropolitan for $19.50. Live it up! Third-grade joy here I come!
Since it came I’ve been sailing over smooth paper for my journal and other writing. What fun to write with a nice pen! If you want a simple pleasure consider getting yourself some cool pens (and nice smooth paper). Check out your local art supply store or go to JetPens.com. Below are some samples of my favorite pens. Happy writing!