As I was trying to think of something wildly interesting and exciting to write about today, I found myself scribbling nonsense phrases and words that look pretty when written all over the little pad of paper I have at my desk. It wasn’t until the paper was nearly full that I even noticed really what I’d done and I realized how much I like the simple act of writing. I’m not talking about writing in the creative sense or even practically, with a purpose or drive to it. I don’t mean as an exercise or project or anything constructive in any way—I mean solely putting a pen to paper and drawing words.
I’m a terrible artist, but I love scribbling and writing. In school and college, I worked hard during class, hardly ever putting my pen down. This did result in pages and pages of copious notes, but I also had intricate and, might I say, beautiful margins to show for it as well. I found that I was able to concentrate better and follow a lecture more closely if I was moving my pen across paper at all times. Obviously, not every word spoken is worthy of noting, so a lot of the time I spent creating intricate designs in the margins of my notebooks. Listening to someone speak, I often write in flowy cursive or bold, scratchy letters the words I’m hearing that are the most fun to write. What results at the end of a conversation are a bunch of words written every which way and in a multitude of styles that seemingly have nothing to do with one another, but are still connected clearly in my mind. Sometimes I’ll just write the alphabet over and over in every form and format I can come up with, but I like it best when I can get the whole thing on one row written in cursive lowercase letters.
I know that when it comes to actual novel-writing or really anything of importance, typing is nowadays the only real option—for both speed and clarity, but one can hardly deny the pleasure of opening a new notebook, or an old favorite one to a fresh page and just putting pen to paper, whatever the purpose. Me, I prefer to write solely in pens with blue ink and find I write better when I use them. I like paper that’s not bright white with college-ruled lines in a softer color as well. Preferably, there are wide top margins and the pen is one that has a cap I’m able to stick on its end as I write.
Whether it’s journaling or writing solely for the sake of the words or lines themselves, there’s just something about moving across a blank page and leaving it marked in a new way that is wholly satisfying. What are your writing preferences: pen? Pencil? 80-cent notebook or fancy leather-bound journal? Does it matter to you at all?