I have a problem
And that problem is lots and lots of writing utensils.
Taking a quick scan of my room, I have over a dozen pens varying in quality from "couple of bucks" gel pen to "I'm embarrassed to admit how much this cost" fountain pen. Not only that, but open up the small dresser cabinet by my desk and you will see oodles of notebooks and journals - several partially filled, most completely blank - waiting for the day they will ascend to greatness.
"I can stop whenever I want to," he says weakly to himself as he slowly edges over toward the governmentally mandated Moleskine rack in whatever store he has haplessly wandered into today.
No, I cannot stop whenever I want to. I am doing the well-trod first step - admitting I have a problem. However, I have swiftly moved on to the "justification" stage where I convince myself that my addiction has benefits and therefore no reason I should curtail such behavior.
To my friends reading this that have put up with my addiction for some time now: I would appreciate it if you would stop rolling your eyes thank you very much.
But really! These things are useful!
Hey, yeah, that's right! I am a writer, writing tools are, y'know, kind of helpful!
Levity aside for a sec, I have found pen and paper immensely useful as a part of my creative process. When I'm in the middle of writing a story or something and I don't know where to go next, a little freewriting exercise unsticks me in a flash.
Some people can brainstorm and do other such tasks digitally, but for some reason it works a lot better for me when I go analog.
Also, it is always handy to have an on-the-go notebook and pen to take down random notes and stray ideas as they come at me.
Yeah, I know my phone has the same functionality, but this is how I like to do it.
Yeah, I know - when I get down to it, I know a lot of my obsession is irrational. But if you like something, it doesn't matter whether it is rational or not - people like what they like even if others cannot comprehend why. I don't get why other people care about sports, or celebrity news, or (insert one of a zillion other things here), and why should I? It'd be a damn boring world if everybody liked the same things.
…though now that I think about it, maybe a better world…
Okay, moving on quick from that train of thought before it makes me sad - the point is that I just like these things. I just like fountain pens, Ijust like Retro 51's, I just like the way writing on good paper feels, I just like amassing a huge collection of Field Notes, I just like having a notebook dedicated to a specific project. None of this is rational, but if I just like it, then what's the problem?
Okay, if just liked murder. That would be a problem. Also just liking repetitious italics for emphasis. That's a problem.
I'm sorta running myself in circles here, but I think you know what I mean. If you like something that isn't harmful or devastating financially, then there is no real problem. You're just a little bit weird. Congratulations, you're in good company.
Just show me the dang collection already
Yeah, this blog post kinda turned into a rant about it being okay to like things that other people don't, so let's return to the topic at hand.
BOLD CAPITAL LETTERS USED FOR DRAMATIC EFFECT
Oh god, I'm having regrets
Nope nope nope; you started reading this and I am GOING TO SHOW YOU SOME PENS AND NOTEBOOKS GODDAMMIT.
I promise I'll be gentle ;)
Let's start with the pens. I am relatively new to the world of fine writing implements, but I think I've amassed a pretty decent collection if I do say so myself.
First, I've got some gel pens I like. They're cheap and they write well and I don't mind sharing them with others.
I've also got a couple Microns for drawing; size 03 is about right for me.
On my desk, tucked between my printer and laptop, is my collection of Retro 51 rollerball pens. They write amazingly well, look gorgeous, and are available in various limited collector editions (such as the coffee edition, pictured below). I keep one in my pocket at all times in case I need to take down a quick note or two.
My pride and joys though are my fountain pens. I've found I like fine nibs, which won't really mean anything to anyone who isn't into this sort of thing, but basically I like thin lines without it being scratchy. I started with the Pilot Metropolitan and I was hooked from there. It was my first fountain pen and I still love to use it.
My Lamy Safari and Kaweco Classic Sport get a decent amount of love too. In the fountain pen world, these pens are considered cheap, but they write beautifully for the price.
The real stars of my collection, however, are these. The Lamy 2000 and the TWSBI 580. glarglaglagralgalrgalralargrlaaaaaaaaggggghll
Pictures do not do them justice. They feel amazing to touch, they feel amazing to hold, and they feel amazing to write with. The Lamy 2000 is made out of Makrolon and is an absolute dream.
The TWSBI 580 is a dream as well; I normally find clear barrels tacky, but I think the way TWSBI do it is perfect.
I've got a couple of different bottles; so far the Iroshizuku is the nicest one I own.
But you'll find that no matter the brand, they are all black ink. I don't like anything else. I've tried and so far I just don't want anything but deep black lines etched into my paper.
I have like, a zillion notebooks, but I'm just going to explain the most important ones.
This is a Rhodia Memo Bloc that I keep in my pocket for random notes. I also like using Field Notes for this purpose.
I keep this as my freewrite/diary/whatever journal.
These are dedicated to acting. Not in the sense that they are pursuing careers (please clap), but in that I use them for characters I play. I'm not going to go into that; talking about my actor process is a bit too personal and would be worth a whole blog post.
This last one is filled with secrets for a secret project nobody knows about because it is a secret. Now shoo.
Jesus Christ, are you done?
Thank you for the compliment.
And yes, I think that about covers everything (note to self: never do a blog post that requires this many pictures ever again). I have always loved using journals and notebooks, but pens are a much more recent obsession and I heartily owe that to listening to The Pen Addict podcast. If my ramblings on the topic has resonated with you, I highly recommend it as well as checking out the blog.
Go forth and write with style.