Journaling June: The Right Write Stuff

I’ve almost bled my current pen dry.

Oh. Right. You’re reading this on on screen. Sorry. A little background will help. I handwrite all my journals. There is something satisfying about scratching out my thoughts on paper, something ritualistic about it. I’m sure I’m romanticizing it by giving it an almost religious quality, but I’m a writer. We are prone to the flights of fancy. Give me a break.

I’m always amazed that I handwrite enough to empty so many pens. I shouldn’t be. I mean, I write every day. I fill a moleskine notebook each month. I guess it’s surprising because for the longest time, starting in college, I used my computer to write, and so a pen would last years. Hell, a pen would have lasted my whole college career if I hadn’t lost them.

(or found one we liked better. and then another. and then another . . .)

Yeah. I do have a thing for stuff, don’t I? Always looking for that perfect [fill in the blank]. Still haven’t found the perfect pen though. Some have come very close. Not “the one” though, because what I like is not easy to come by. I like a very fine tipped ball point.

For a while I was happy with the Bic Accountant. I guess those ledgers have very small boxes so the pens had to have very fine lines for the numbers to fit. But, Bic quit making them. While they are still available, they were bought up and are being sold at ridiculous prices—$50 for a box of 12. So I switched to their closest cousin, the Bic Orange, but they’re not extra fine. There are lots of gel based pens that are extra fine, which I’ve tried, but there’s something about the ink that just doesn’t work. The next round of my Amazon search brought me the Xeno Shinzi Katoh Monpeluche, a cute little pen with a very fine point. It worked like a charm. At first. Then nib after nib broke. I don’t know if they are just too fine for their own good, or if I’m too heavy handed, or maybe both. I broke 4 of the 6 I used and gave up. Then I found my current pen, the Pentel Arts Hybrid Technica, which comes in a variety of points, my favorite being the .3mm. It’s a good pen. So far.

(we haven’t killed any of the pentels yet.)

No, but this is only the first one I’ve used. It’s true though, the nib didn’t break like the Monpeluche. Thing is, I don’t care for the design, feel, or cap on this pen.

(the cap!?!)

Yeah. Caps play a factor. I like pens that don’t have caps because I use a grip to better hold/control the pen. If there’s a cap I have to shift the grip from end to end every time I use/put it away. It’s not just a pain, it also stretches out the grip, which, over time, starts to fall off.

(but—)

I know. I know. It’s nit-picky. I’m a nit-picky guy. I also know that in all likelihood I’ll be damned to always being almost there when it comes to my writing implements.

(we could use a mechanical pencil. we did for a stint there after college.)

Yeah. That’s an option. Yet, for some unknown reason I feel compelled to keep searching. The quest for the Holy Pen! I know I can find it, just like I found THE moleskine notebooks, THE Yeti Ramble, THE Bose QC35 II. . . THE Pen is out there!

(okay, keep your shirt on. but perhaps there aren’t many ultra fine ballpoint pens because the nib is too fine to let enough ink flow. or there’s not enough demand.)

Or maybe I just haven’t searched enough. A cursory glance at the top few hits on Amazon is pretty lazy research.

(true. as is our equally flippant google search.)

I could complain about it on the internet and see if any white knight comes to the aid of this damsel in distress. Hmm. . .

“UH!” . . . *faints\*

(oh the humanity! overcome by the vapors! won’t someone help him?)

12 Replies to “Journaling June: The Right Write Stuff”

  1. *opens eyes cautiously*

    Nothing?

    (_nope. nothing._)

    Damn. Oh well. I guess I’ll just have to soldier on then.

    (_there’s the spirit. stiff upper lip and all that._)

    Like

  2. While I don’t share your love of pens, I don’t find it odd. Aesthetics matter, and when we engage in things, there’s often an aesthetic component, not everything is purely functional. In fact, I think this happens more often than people admit or even realize. I think this is most evident with people who like to read paper books. Or even people who like to read paper books while in a nice coffee shop, sipping a latte. It’s the totality of the experience they crave.

    However, there may be some scientific justification for your preference for handwriting over typing. There was a study done that suggested that taking notes by hand led to greater retention than did typing. The hypothesized reason was that writing by hands required people to be more selective of what they wrote (since they couldn’t write fast enough) and thus increased engagement with the material, which in turn increased retention. Now, this is about note taking, but I don’t see why this wouldn’t apply to writing. I mean, maybe the limited through-put requires you to put more thought into what you say and how you say it, rather than engaging in the info dump that is all too easy to do when typing?

    Here’s an article about the study:
    https://www.npr.org/2016/04/17/474525392/attention-students-put-your-laptops-away

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do know one reason I like to handwrite things, it’s not as easy to edit. Yeah, I can scratch out a word, or a sentence, but to do any significant changes would mean scrapping it and starting over. By handwriting I cut out the critical part of my mind more so I can spill out the shitty first draft. Then, when I’m copying it over into my word processor, I switch to editing mode.

      It takes more time, but everyone’s got their “process” right?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Fabulous dahling!!! You are penning and publishing, I say keep using whatever you’re using! :)))

    p.s. happy to see it’s Bic. As I replied in your later post I feel it’s the only way to go. 😆 But I like the standard clear ones in 10-packs, defo not the hideous orange-coloured ones…. 🤓👯‍♀️👯‍♂️😁

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I know, right?

        I was thinking, “I’m willing to buy an expensive pen.” Expensive = $20 – $30. But those “fancy” pens are all medium nibs. So, I was recommended to the Parker site by Rotring. And that’s what I get. Sheesh!

        I bet there’s even MORE expensive pens. Stuff James Bond uses. But, like his Omega Seamaster, there are somethings I’ll never own.

        (even if we had the money.)

        Liked by 1 person

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