I have a thing for pens. Not just any pens, though. I like fine tip pens, fine tip marker pens, and old-school fountain pens. I have quite a collection, as you can see from the image below. Here’s the thing, though. That’s just a small sample of my pen collection and about half of those were recent acquisitions.
The Triplus Fineliner large set was a reward I gave myself for finishing the recent Mythica project (purchased today actually) and the fountain pen resting horizontally across the Triplus pens was a gift from my little brother, Braden (who, coincidentally, works for a pen store called Pen Chalet). He thought I should have a nice fountain pen with imperial purple ink to do book signings with to go with my “Guy in the Purple Shirt” theme. It’s a nice pen. I like it.
What does this have to do with anything?
Absolutely nothing, really, except that I like pens.
There’s something exceptionally satisfying about going back to basics and writing things out by hand. Pen scratching against paper is a glorious sound. Don’t get me wrong, I’m twenty-eight and fully understand the electronic age. In fact, this very blog post is being written via a keyboard on a Surface tablet that, 15 years ago, was considered impossible technology. But pens bring me an odd little delightful sense of joy when I use them. They make me happy. They make me want to write again.
Life has been crazy lately. It’s been stressful, chaotic, and not very conducive to writing. I’ve had to struggle to re-define my center and re-centralize my focus. Part of that was rediscovering the things that made me want to write in the first place. Re-reading Raymond E Feist’s books, especially the Serpentwar Saga, reading some of my earlier work, talking to other writers who’ve inspired me, and, something that is odd, but decidedly me, writing things by hand more often.
I wrote my first three novels completely by hand in spiral notebooks. I was looking back at those the other day. After a couple drafts written longhand, I typed them up over a decade ago. The word count? 147,000 word on one single project. On the fourth draft. That means I wrote out, by hand, approximately 400,000 words just for that one book. No wonder I have hand problems.
I can’t do that much longhand anymore, my fingers swell just by typing too much these days, but going back to the roots of what started it all for me has helped rekindle the writing juices and given me the help I need to keep on writing. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
And I’ll keep on collecting pens.
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