Paper, pens and writing tools! Oh my!

I love the tools of my craft. Paper, pens, pencils…anything to do with writing. It doesn’t mean that I write well, but it makes me feel so cozy to cuddle up in my bed, a Levenger Annotation 1/4 Ruled Writing PadTul pen, lap desk, and a great big glass of water.  This is my idea of nirvana. Not a laptop in sight and nothing to take my attention away from the pristine sheet of paper awaiting my virgin thoughts.

There are so many other things I would love to take into my writing cocoon. I would have books such as: Words That Make A Difference and More Words That Make A Difference. My copy of the Childrens Writer’s and Illustrator’s Market, the most recent Writer’s Digest and an unabridged Oxford English Dictionary.  Oh, I am sure that I could find more things if I sat here long enough. The list could be grossly disproportionate to the space that I have on my queen-size bed.

However, it does make me ponder…do we think that we become better writers when we use many different tools to craft our trade?  Does the seemingly endless supply of pens and papers really help? What about the latest technological gadget? Do we need the fastest computer on the market? Five different types of word processing software? How about fancy highlighters in each color?

Sometimes, I go to the store, whether it be an office supply store or a big box store, and I am just overwhelmed by the sheer volume.  What I do is such a solitary life and profession. There are days I am desperate just to hear a human voice.  Could it be that I am replacing my human contact with fancy tools to keep me occupied and happy? Or is it that I am just an office supply junkie? I was a paralegal in my former life and let me tell you, there is nothing quite like the smell of copy machine toner to give you that chemically induced buzz first thing in the morning. 

There are those days that I am surprised I haven’t flushed my phone down the toilet.  It seems that when I am able to shift into my right-brain mode easily that my phone rings continuously.  Those are the days that I find myself walking a very thin line, wanting to yell “buggar off you prats”. However, at the risk of offending every I know, have managed to stay restrained.

There are many days I feel that people don’t understand. They think I have endless hours in the day. That I can do whatever, whenever and that when I am on a roll that it’s something I can stop just as easily as I start. When I get into my groove, I don’t like stopping. I want to write until my right-hand is cramped in a toilsome frenzy. I am in pain and can’t write anymore…yet, I press on. I can soak it in a bowl of ice water afterwards. What is important is I get my thoughts on paper.

What about a computer? I have a nice blue laptop named “Belle”. She is quick and holds my work beautifully. However, I don’t “flow” as well using Belle as I do when I am writing with paper and pen. I wish I did…it would save time…but I savor my time with my pen and paper, just as those that came before me. The writers who wrote on scraps of paper, late into the night by candlelight and lantern. Those who didn’t have the modern advantages that I am afforded.

I am grateful for the ease of acquiring my tools of the trade. Right now, I seem to have found a good combination that I enjoy and that helps bring me a little sense of guilty pleasure to my writing.  Maybe that is what this is all about. Staying happy and having that something that helps give me that extra nudge– I love to see blank pages filled with words. When I fill those pages with words, I feel happy and satisfied. Speaking of those filled pages, I have a new Levenger catalog to peruse and notepads to order…toodles!

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3 thoughts on “Paper, pens and writing tools! Oh my!

  1. Intriguing misspellings. “In site” should be “in sight” but both meanings make sense here. Also comment #1… not “piece” but “peace of paper”… yes that is what this post is all about, isn’t it?

  2. Frid,

    Thank you for pointing out my typo. Sometimes I blog, half-awake, very late at night. But, really, it is about “peace” of paper. The peace I find while writing gives me more satisfaction than most understand. The fantastic array of tools can be overwhelming at times, but are fabulous nonetheless.

    I can best summarize my feelings in the immortal words of Collette:

    “…hungrily, with my mind full of evil thoughts, around all of these treasures of stationary. A pad of virgin blotting paper; an ebony ruler; one, two, four, six pencils, sharpened with a pen-knife and all of different colors; pens with medium nibs and fine nibs; pens with enormously broad nibs, drawing pens no thicker than a blackbird’s quill; sealing wax, red, green and violet; a hand blotter, a bottle of liquid glue, not to mention slabs of transparent amber-colored stuff known as “mouth glue.” (Schehr Weiss 111).

    Schehr, Lawrence R. and Weiss, Allen S.. French Food: On the Table, on the Page, and in French Culture. Routledge, 2001.

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