What’s Your Favorite Precious?

Writing is a tactile activity. Although I often pound away at the computer keyboard, I also do a lot of writing in longhand, depending on where I find myself attempting to produce. I prefer composition books and rollerball pens. Everyone has their favorites but I’ve become unreasonably snobby about writing tools. For years I wrote with actual fountain pens because the flow of ink is unrestricted and rich. Alas, they lack a certain practicality, as does using an actual quill which is darn near an artform all its own.
I’ve always had a bit of a pen fetish…but now…I have pens no one else is allowed to touch. I know. It’s ridiculous. You go ahead and drive that sportscar, I want another fine writing instrument.
Don’t touch that. It’s mine. My precious.
It really is that bad. Occasionally my husband takes me on a long drive to the fancy mall where the purveyor of fine writing instruments domiciles. Swoon. Yes, I chose wisely.

I’ll mark up a cocktail napkin, scribble on receipts, and sacrifice half the checks in the checkbook if I’ve got to get the words down – but it has to be with smooth flowing ink. Hand me a cheap ballpoint pen and I’m mentally thinking about thrusting it through your neck and wondering how I could work that into the next chapter of my WIP. It could be a sickness. I dunno.

Don’t touch that one either.

The fancy pens provide unparalleled tactile pleasure but truth is, they’re heavy to hold and they suck ink like it’s red wine on Ladies’ Night in a pub come Friday evening. For me, pens are talismans. They’re physical manifestations of the conduit from which insight pours out of my mind – or some such nonsense.

I’ve had my eye on a lovely one for a while but it’s so heavy my fingers ache after writing even a memo. The one covered with Swarovski crystals was like writing with a small skinny porcupine. Ouch.

What spins your top when it comes to writing? Anything make you go Gollum? Come on…share a pet peeve, a quirk, a habit…you know you’ve got one, right?

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  1. #1 by Antimony on August 1, 2011 - 3:08 pm

    Dear lord, those pens are beautiful!I love my pens & notebooks, despise having to type things up. A x

  2. #2 by elenaaitken.com on August 1, 2011 - 4:31 pm

    Great post!I just saw some beautiful wooden pens at the market the other day and I longed to buy one. BUT…I'll admit. I do love buying and collecting the pens (mostly getting as gifts) and fancy leather bound notebooks that line my shelves. BUT when it comes down to what I actually write with. Always, the cheap papermate pens that come in a box of 20 (or 50) in blue or black. I like the flow of ink. Strange I know. Also, I've recently discovered the Sharpie Pen. LOVE those too. I also choose the basic coil notebooks to write in most of the time. So lame I know. But…I am what I am. Great post!

  3. #3 by Angela Wallace on August 1, 2011 - 4:54 pm

    I love my Pilot G-2 07s in all their colors. They never run out on me unless they are actually empty, unlike so many other pens. I need my colors, not just because they're fun, but I color code. I color coded my school notes and I color code my story planning. (Nothing so organized as character development, plot development, conflict, etc. Just new idea vs. old idea.)I have to type when I'm writing prose, but I need a good old notebook for story planning. My story board looks pretty chaotic, but it works for me.

  4. #4 by Barbara McDowell on August 1, 2011 - 6:31 pm

    Great post Lesann! You have me over here jonesing for that Aurora pen. It is just my style. I have a love of cool pens and writing in journals/notebooks since childhood. My writing is so bad now (can't read it myself if I write fast) that I tend to type more, but do go back to that tactile feel when in writing classes, workshops or conferences. I have a Sensa pen that I still love…I think it is circa 1998. They don't make them anymore, but I did find a similar model online that has refills that fit. Comfort of grip is as important as design and I also like fine tip styles.

  5. #5 by Naomi Bulger on August 1, 2011 - 11:35 pm

    Yes, I confess to being equally obsessed and pernickety when it comes to choosing my pens. I even have differing preferences depending on the kinds of writing I'm doing. If I'm making notes or writing scraps of poetry in my 'field journal', I love the artline felt tip (0.4 nib) (and the paper must be thick, with some texture). For writing my book longhand in a cafe, I need the faster flow of a good rollerball to keep up with my thoughts, and decent weight in my hand. When I signed the my first contract with a publisher for my book, a friend bought me a beautiful Montblanc pen that writes like magic, so that's my "signings" pen. Meanwhile, Mr B ALWAYS writes with a fountain pen.

  6. #6 by Diana Murdock on August 2, 2011 - 1:51 am

    So,I'm not the only one! I've tried the ballpoints that the boys have for school. Definitely skips over the page. I have a favorite pen, just a fine tip with a rolling ball that flows smooth. I don't know the name of it, but it works. That's all that matters. I have enough going on in my head without cluttering it with thoughts of my pen.

  7. #7 by Personalized Pens on August 3, 2011 - 6:24 am

    Oh great post lovely pens i like your arts and your style.I truly appreciate you taking the time to post this. I really liked reading through it and am looking forward to more posts from you! Keep up the good work.

  8. #8 by Lesann Berry on August 3, 2011 - 7:48 am

    Thanks to everyone for so many great comments. If there's a way to respond to individual comments on blogger I haven't figured it out, so I'm improvising.@Antimony – I type a lot but agree that nothing beats writing longhand, and a good pen just makes it better.@elenaaitken – I use the inexpensive composition books for writing (Wal-mart .40 each!) but the pens I just can't do – although I do like the wide nib for heavy ink flow.@Angela – I color-coded my notes in college. That must make me a special kind of nerd. = )@Barbara – an Aurora is in your future, I can feel it…@Naomi – Bravo for a "signings" pen. That's awesome!@Diana – I usually write with the inexpensive pens (mostly cause I'm afraid I'll lose a fancy one) but the flow is what matters most for me.@Personalized – Thanks, and thanks for visiting and taking the time to leave a comment and encouragement!

  9. #9 by JM Randolph on August 5, 2011 - 11:40 pm

    Fantastic post! When I was a kid, I used to spend my allowance money on pens and paper. As an adult, for a while I collected pens- until I suddenly collected five step kids. Kinda put a damper on my pen budget. I have some fountain pens which I love, and my favorite cheap pen is a Pilot G-2 07 rollerball. I have also requested a Montblanc for my 40th birthday. We'll see.

  10. #10 by Lesann Berry on August 6, 2011 - 4:26 am

    Thanks for commenting. I've always loved pens and paper too. I bet five kids put the kabosh on a lot of budgetary items…but it all comes back around in the end. Think of all those Montblanc pens they'll be presenting you with over the years!

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