Do you ever wish you were good at something, unreachable? In school, I discovered that I could overcome writer’s block if I stopped typing and started writing with a pen and paper.
It was only many years later that I learned that using a pen instead of a computer to take notes improved your mental ability to remember and process information (source).
Mighty Pens Weaken a Cold Heart
Long story short, I now take notes as much as I can with pen and paper. I outline my manuscripts, writing the first draft oftentimes by hand, which I then copy onto a computer. And, by no means am I an old man set in his old ways.
One of the outworkings of writing a lot with a pen is that you end up collecting many of said instrument. I now have a wide variety of fine writing pens, including fountain pens with fancy gold nibs.
Oh, I must note: There’s something special about writing with colorful inks with exotic names, like Emerald of Chivor or Oxblood. Special and thrilling in the quiet mundane way, as you sip your expresso.
A nice pen awakens the sense of adventure a toddler might have grasping a crayon for the first time. A fistful of purple wax.
I wish I could draw, but my hands don’t produce the proper proportions. My line work is poor and sloppy. And, I often don’t take the proper time to practice or learn the motor skills to improve.
Not everyone is built to do certain things. But, it breaks the heart that I can’t do this one thing I think would give me great joy. I know if I put in the time, the sweat, the veritable blood and tears, that maybe I could get to a level of drawing skill where I would be satisfied.
Instead, I stumble around with doodles and sketchy things that allow me to say I’m using my pens and implements for more than writing words.
If you’re an artist that is able to draw anything your mind conjures, then you are a blessed human. Don’t waste your talent. Maybe this is advice for anyone who excels naturally in certain areas. Do what you’re good at and don’t let up. Cherish your unique human gifts.
Resignation: Who Cares?
I doodle with my fancy pens, hoping that one day a spark will set the page alight and I will see a beautiful render before me on the page. I suppose doodling and marking a page may be considered art. Doodles are artistic in its own way, like vandalism on a brick wall or subway car.
I’m a hopeless vandal trying to speak to the world through graffiti. Except I have no gang crest or icon to go by and my work will be kept safe from the prying eyes of the public (unless I show them here).
And, so I do the shortcut: I photograph things that I wish I could draw. Maybe my camera is a way out of this hopeless prison. I’m not good at drawing, so I capture my mind’s thoughts through photographs. By the way, photography means “drawing with light”.
There it is. I take my camera and pen with me everywhere, because these are the tools for capturing the simple adventures of the day: in writing and in pictures.
Here are my 4 favorite writing/drawing implements:
I may not be great at drawing things, but I enjoy a quiet time with a nice cup of coffee, a clean page, and a freshly loaded fountain pen. And, the act of putting ink to paper is a simple pleasure, even if I can’t understand why.
Maybe I’ll write down a thought about it. And here we are.
Thanks for reading!