Why I Write With A Fountain Pen

writing with a pen

My kids would tell you it’s because I’m “old.” That may be true… I am old (-er than them). There are myriad reasons that I write with a fountain pen, just as there are myriad reasons I cannot wean myself away from my paper calendar (used in conjunction with my electronic calendar) and my paper contact list and my notebook of daily to-dos. Plain and simple, I like the feeling of using a pen. I like the connection to the paper. I feel as though my thoughts flow more easily when I have a pen in my hand.

writing with a fountain penI compose my blogs all on the screen, but I typically will write notes for my editorial calendar in longhand in a notebook. Why? I think better when I am not staring at a computer screen and that helps me access my thoughts and my fountain pen is the delivery system to my notebook to capture them. When I sit down to write a blog post, I open my idea journal, flip to the editorial calendar that resides there and I blog.

When I am angry, or hurt or sad I turn to my journal. I wrote a lot when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I kept up that journal to capture my every thought or feeling, both good and bad. It is my way of looking back and realizing that I came through it. I am still here. It is the reason why I write my daily gratitudes before I go to sleep at night. If I were sitting in front of a computer screen I don’t think I could be as honest with my thoughts. A fountain pen and paper keeps me honest with myself.

I am a pen hoarder, er, collector. No matter where I go I am looking to pilfer a pen, especially if it’s blue ink or some other interesting color or design. I never enter a store without making a detour to the pen aisle. Even though I love my fountain pen, when I was in Boston recently I went to a store and bought a journal and a pen that purports, “you can write for seven miles.” Whether that is true, I don’t know and I am not sure I’m good enough in math to determine how many miles my loopy handwriting has traversed. It is intriguing to think that I “wrote for one and a half miles today” rather than, I penned 2,000 words.

What do you write with? Do you have a love affair with office supplies? I’d love to hear about it! It is a Boomer thing? To use pen and paper?


3 replies to this post
  1. I definitely have a love affair with office supplies. I keep a handwritten journal as well as my blog, and when I’m feeling uninspired I always turn to paper and pen. My sonnets are always hand written first, as are my haikus. Blog posts and “omg I have to write this now, because it’s spilling out my hands” moments are done with typing.

    One of the ways I’m going to try combining the two is with a Microsoft Surface… but I don’t know how that will go yet…

    • Hi, I keep trying to talk myself out of buying a Microsoft Surface but I think the new one does have onscreen writing options. Thanks for writing and sharing your process!

  2. I simply cannot pass by the Barnes&Noble table with all the pretty planners they have out this time of year. Don’t even get me started on the back to school sales-so many pens,so little time! There is definitely something special about using pen &paper.

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