A month or so ago I was asked by Goulet Pens to offer some insight into why I, as a writer, love fountain pens. They were talking to six writers to be included in a blog and I was lucky enough to be one of them. I had to think about it because it’s really something I’ve loved without really thinking about why.
I’ve always loved pens and paper. Holding a pen and making lists or notes is comforting to me. If I can’t sleep or if I’m anxious then a blank paper and a good list can calm me right down. But for years I resisted fountain pens. I thought they would leak all over, and be a lot of work. My brother, Dan, loves them, and my friend Dani is a huge fountain pen fan. I was starting to feel a bit left out. I decided to quietly try a fountain pen to see what it was like. There is no pen store in Kamloops, where I live, so I went to Michaels and bought a cheap plastic Schaeffer calligraphy pen on a whim. I started to use it to write Morning Pages (3 pages of constant writing every morning) and I was thrilled to discover how smooth they wrote and how fast my hand moved across the page. It felt so free. I was instantly smitten and had to eat a bit of crow when I admitted my new love to Dan and Dani. I believe I may have acted like I was the first person ever to discover them but they have since forgiven me. We now share notes on favourite pens, ink and paper. It’s become a bit of an addiction.
I know a lot of authors use fountain pens for their first drafts. I remember a quote from Robertson Davies, one of my favourite authors, who said he wrote by hand because he wasn’t tempted to edit right away. This is exactly what I love about writing by hand. I don’t judge my words so harshly. I’m not tempted to erase them before they have a chance to breathe.
I have a favourite pen (a Pilot Metropolitan with a fine nib) for editing. It always has red ink. I have a Jinhao and a Parker that are my desk pens and are filled with Noodler’s Black ink. I have a Lamy Al Star (Lime green with turquoise ink), a Lamy Safari (matt blue “Petrol” with dark blue ink) and a white and purple Monteverde with purple ink for all my notes and creative writing. Dan gave me the Monteverde. Dani gave me a Claire Fontaine coil notebook, which I love, because she wanted me to try real paper. It is amazing. I need more.
To be mentioned in a blog by Goulet pens has boosted my status in my pen-loving circle quite significantly which is awesome! I think my brother is still coming to terms with it.
I’m planning to add to my pen / ink / notebook collection soon. I need to commemorate writing / directing and producing my first short film. Then I’ll need another set as a reward for finishing my next screenplay. The list goes on and on and on…