Pen, pencil, ballpoint, keyboard, I’ve tried them all. I’ve always enjoyed writing with pencil. It makes that satisfying scratching sound on the paper but I hadn’t owned a fountain pen in decades.
At school we had to do handwriting lessons with wooden sticks that had nibs on the end. We had to dip them into pots of ink. The mess!
I progressed to a pen with a little lever that sucked ink into a rubber tube but the rubber perished so I got a cartridge pen [which is a bit of a cheat] and then came biros, felt tips and even *gulp* gel pens...
...but if you look carefully at the photo top right, you can see that I have returned to pen and ink. I hadn’t really looked at that photo for a while and then Ann Best mentioned it in a comment on one of my posts. She said that she used to use a pen but she’s now glad of computers because her ‘aging hands appreciate them so much’. I find that my aging back prefers writing longhand but that wasn’t why I decided to return to a fountain pen.
Last summer a writing friend, Josephine Feeney, told me that she always uses a fountain pen to do her writing. She said that it has a special feel to it. It inspires her. Being the sort of writer who needs all the inspiration I can get, I decided that a fountain pen was a must. This conversation occurred just before my birthday. How convenient.
My birthday fountain pen is beautiful. [Belated thanks to Rod or Mr A as he’s known on Twitter J] It’s smooth and tactile. I’m writing these words with it now [well, the rough draft anyway] and Josephine is right. There is something very special about writing with a fountain pen.
Of course, ultimately the words have to be typed onto the computer, my back doesn’t escape some discomfort and it takes longer for me to write and then type than it would if I were to type straight onto the keyboard, but this isn’t about speed. It’s about inspiration and given the choice between speed and inspiration I’d choose inspiration every time.