18 December 2006


in praise of pen and paperPlease go and read "In praise of pen and paper" by Rowland Jones.
(Link courtesy of
Moleskinerie.) It's wonderful!

I'd never be brave enough to scan or transcribe my paper and ink journals, as he does, and I never would use anything but a pen and ink to write my journal (or letters to my friends).

There's something organic about using a fountain pen, especially - the ink flows silently with your quiet thoughts (or, not-so-quiet thoughts!).

Yes, it's slower to write with a pen, especially when the nib gets cranky - but even when the ink feathers on the page (since, wouldn't you know, most modern paper is inhospitable to Real Ink), it seems right. The thoughts I transcribe are neither as crisp nor recognizable as any computer font. (Trust me on that one.) But those small, irregular characters on the page (sorry, pen friends!) are more representative of this small, irregular person than anything that could come off a keyboard.

Many people think about keeping a diary as a New Year's resolution. I urge you to try it. Use the most prosaic notebook you can find, so you won't be intimidated. Buy or set aside an amiable and responsive pen. Write - anything. A list of daily gratitudes, a few verbs, or beautiful moments you witnessed.

A dear friend has given me a pretty little calendar book. I have decided to take a cue from Laurie Anderson and use it to write one sentence each day (or, possibly, a haiku). It won't take the place of my diary. The sentence may not have anything to do with the day. It may not even parse well. But it will be fun, and it will be a much-needed writing discipline.

My writing resolutions for 2007: work on my novel (which means actually writing, not just researching), finish the essays that I start, write more reviews on Tea Reads, and being a better friend to my pen friends. Now all I have to do is learn to knit with my feet.


pixie girl said...

I always keep a journal, even if I don't write every single day. I love paper and pens of all kinds! The thing is, I can't stand looking at the journals later - but I love your ideas and may steal them outright:)! I love haiku as well, and I'm very glad you laugh at my hat:)!!!

Jennifer said...

I used to write little things in a book of meditations. I had the corners all written in over the space of a few years. I've fallen out of the habit though. Perhaps I should start it up again.

Anna said...

I write a list of things I'm thankful for each evening in a lovely little book I have with Monet's Waterlilies on the cover. It's a relaxing way to get ready for bed.

rowland said...

thanks for that.

Have you tried out Creative Workout?
The aim is get all sorts of creative people involved. writers, sketchers, photographers, poets who ever!

Happy Writing!