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Writing, FF Sparks (Writing)

[Writing] Good Writing Materials

So, while I was out at lunch, someone saw my Case o' Pens, and commented on it. And I got to thinking a bit about the importance (or unimportance, as the case may be) of good writing materials.

As those who know me are well aware, I'm a bit of a fountain pen devotee. My favorite fountain pen is a Parker Inflection (tranquil blue), though I've come to be a fan of fine-nib pens and the Inflection is a medium-nib. I also am quite fond of my shiny purple Cross ATX (fine nib) fountain pen. And as a backup, I have a deep blue Parker Sonnet.

I have a second zirconium Cross ATX too, which I keep filled with rose-scented red ink, in case I feel oddly Victorian and want to write a letter by hand. J.Herbin makes wonderful inks, though I feel it's a little decadent to use it for my day-to-day writing. But they've been making ink since the 17th century and still make some of the best writing ink out there. (For day-to-day, I still use a bottle of Parker 'Quink' generic blue ink.)

Lately, I've become a devotee also of Clairfontaine papers. Clairefontaine is one of the few notebook companies out there who still make all their own paper, and their paper is some of the brightest, smoothest paper out there. It takes fountain pen ink incredibly well, and you can definitely feel the difference between it and generic 'normal' paper as you write.

Now, I know people who write with just generic ballpoint or gel pens in whatever they can find. I know plenty of people who do all their writing on the computer; this is hardly uncommon in the modern world. But I find I write best with my fountain pens and my notebook, just sitting down with a cup of chai and scribbling away. A few weeks ago, I had this conversation with Amy Thomson; though she does most of her writing on computer, she agrees about the importance of really good writing materials, and was saying she intends to fix up her fountain pens.

I know plenty of people on my friends list are fellow aspiring writers (or even pros!). I've asked one or two of you before about your writing habits, but I'm curious now how many of you find the quality of writing materials makes a difference to you. Is a fountain pen and a good notebook invaluable? Or does just any old spiral-bound and disposable Bic pen work? Is writing by hand passé, and computers are the way to go?


My handwriting is crap; definitely with the compooper for me.

That said, I am very picky about my keyboards. I've pretty much got to have a split keyboard a la the MSFT Natural... alas, those are getting rare, so I've taken to collecting them...

Also, I need a screen with enough real estate to have my work and my reference materials visible at the same time. Firefox' tabbed browsing helps, but sometimes you really need more physical room. I've a 17" NEC here at work which is sharp enough to crank up the resolution so I can have four xterms (two of them long 80x43's) up; the home monitor is a 19" Mitsubishi with even more room than that, which is verra nice.

So, while I don't use a pen, yes, the writing materials are critical to the experience. A laptop just doesn't cut it for serious composition.
I'm not an aspiring writer exactly. But! I do aspire to get my essays published and I do have a novel knocking about my head.

I am another computer writer. I can't imagine writing it all out and then typing it in. However, I've got my own writing juju. While I write on the computer, I am a compulsive handwritten note taker. I read and research and the only way I cement it in my brain is to write it down. So I do. I have notebooks (I do tend to like spiral bound notebooks, but always fresh ones) and blue (not any funky color or black) blue ballpoint pens, again fresh...

Every book I've read for non-pleasure purpose (and even some of them) usually has a notebook that goes with it of my notes.
my english handwring is crap, and it is doing nothing but getting worse and worse, but my japanese handwring is really... well cute to say the least. I've got a pretty good 丸い字 worked out... it is kinda teeny but I like it.. makes writing my stories fun. Lately the only thing i write is silly, pointless stories like about me missing the train to school and having to fly there by a UFO.

I really do need to write by hand, for creative writing that is... and i'll have to say that the smoother, whiter, brighter the paper, and the smoother the ink really effects my mood. I wrote my thesis by my computer, and I currently do all my work writing by my computer. So i dont tend to be as creative when i write via my computer. i see it as a work tool, sucking my life outta me, where as a bright white blank peice of paper is a doorway for me to be as silly as i need to be.

granted i'm not much of a writing fanatic.... and i only write odd stories in japanese, i agree that the tools your have affects your ability to write.

oddly enought, my cell phone has been the sourse of some rather intersting insights in life... again, only in japanese. it is SO much easier to type messeges in japanese than in english on cellphones :P

I'm not a writer, and I email a lot, but there are often times where I want to pick up a pen simply to watch the flow of ink take shape into words and letters on a page. There's a certain satisfaction that's hard to describe.. 'earthy' is the best one I can come up with. It's been years since I had a fountain pen, and back then they were prone to messy leaks. I think I'm going to look for a new one because I agree.. Bic pens just aren't the same. And I want good quality paper, not thin ragpaper so often used for school essays.
There's no shame in admitting it: writing with a good fountain is a sensual experience ... watching the letters flow from the nib as it glides across the page as smoothly as an ice-skater. Mmmm.

And I speak as one whose handwriting is pretty abominable with a ballpoint pen, as my school-teachers were painfully aware. It becomes more readable with a fountain pen, and before email (you youngsters will have to use your imagination here) I used to love writing letters to family and friends with a dipping-pen fitted with an italic nib. I had a variety of bottles of ink in garish colours -- green, brown, violet, orange, sky-blue. This was 25 years ago, when I was a student in London and could easily get hold of such things from an artists' supply store on the Tottenham Court Road.

I use the rather more staid Parker 'Quink' permanent black ink these days, and a cheap fountain pen that I picked up at a bookstore in Cambridge, but despite the fact I paid less than $15 for the pen, it's comfortable to hold and the nib is smooth. And I guess that's all that really matters.
Handwriting makes my hand hurt. That, and I feel cramped by the limitations of paper and ink. I edit a lot as I go along, and you have to cross out, draw little arrows, etc. etc. and it's too hard to go back and add things in the middle of what you were saying three pages before... we had a computer starting when I was in fourth or fifth grade I guess and ever since I've written almost everything of substance on one.
For me, I actually find that -- the going back and editing -- is a lot of WHY pens work better for me. When I'm writing on computer, I tend to get bogged down, I go back and edit while I'm writing, and my forward progress gets slower... and slower... and eventually stops. When I'm writing in pen, I kind of have to just keep going, and I can do my editing when I type it all up.

Handwriting makes my hand hurt.

I know the feeling. About eighteen months ago, I had to take a written exam for the first time in more than twenty years. I honestly didn't know whether I could still write by hand for three straight hours!

In the end, the time flew past (it was an exam, after all), but boy, did my hand hurt when those three hours were up.
My problem is, as a southpaw, and one whose hand curls over to write, the heel of my left hand smears what I've just written if the ink doesn't dry almost instantly. Dad always knew when I'd been busy at school because I'd have ink & graphite smeared across my hand.

So I prefer typing. I also type so much faster than I write, so I actually get most things down, rather than skipping words, as I'm wont to do with paper & pen.

I agree, though, a nice pen on good paper makes all the difference.
I don't think writing is really passe. Handwriting sucks though, but sometimes when you're on a train and you don't want to go "Tok tok" with your PDA pencil on the screen as you try to get your thoughts out.

I use a plain notebook and usually an ordinary uniball Signo RT. I like pens that have ink that run smoothly. Ordinary ballpoint pens don't usually have their ink running smoothly. I like to use the Uniball or Pilot G2. Their ink usually flow quite smoothly when I write.

Anyway....XD Merry Christmas dear.