In Which I Confess My Lack of Love for the Pen

WRITING 02I’m forever without a pen. The ink kind. I almost never seem to be carrying one when I need it. I have read that is simply not acceptable. Writers should always carry pens. What if inspiration suddenly hits? What if you need to make notes on a scene? What if…?

If inspiration really hits, I’ll remember it long enough to get to my keyboard. If I need to make notes about a scene, I make them in my head and likewise remember them long enough to get to a keyboard. If I don’t remember, then they’re better off forgotten if they’re so forgettable in the first place. I’ve made notes before, when I was away from the computer for days on end. Then when I got back I tried to read said notes. Carol looks over my shoulder. “Can you read that?” Me: “No, but I vaguely remember what it was about.”

I do have lousy penmanship, especially when the pen is trying to keep up with what my brain is telling me, and failing miserably. Which may be why I just don’t associate an ink pen or even a pencil with writing and never really have–it was only after I learned how to type that I was able to get serious about writing in the first place. So I don’t feel the need to carry an ink pen around. Which means, of course, that I never have one when I need one. Which is mostly to mark “not at this address” to the letters addressed to the student who had this PO box before I did, has been out of school for, oh, 10 years now, and still has mail being sent to this box.

I know pens are useful. I even know that there are still writers who compose in long hand and couldn’t work any other way. I do know that. I just don’t understand it. When I’m stalled and mulling, a pen is useless, and when I’m on fire, it can’t keep up. Yet I do really like and appreciate a fine pen. They look classy on a desk. Just don’t ask me to write with the darn thing.

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