Listening to Neil Gaiman talk about fountain pens made me want one.
He writes all his first drafts on paper because he believes the process of selecting your best work and committing it to a digital second draft is more motivating and productive than the process deleting work from a first draft which started as a soft copy.
The psychology of this is simple; when it comes you your second draft, the one which should begin to put things in order, would you rather focus on your best work, or your worst?
For years I’ve done the latter. I think this is why I dread the first few edits of a large project.
I often stall this phase out because I know that there are hours of focusing on the worst parts of my writing ahead.
If only I had started on paper. My first big edit would be solely focussed on the pieces I wanted to keep…
So I picked up the exact starter pen Gaiman suggested: A Lamy Safari.
There are a few advantaged to writing with one of these bad boys:
- You can write considerably faster with a bit of practice.
- They require much less pressure to get ink flowing on the page, a typical ballpoint requires a tighter grip and more force to be applied.
- The nibs on the end are interchangeable, and comes in thicker or thinner sizes.
- Makes you feel like a 19th Century poet.
As a side-writing left hander, I had some troubles adapting the the pen initially. But after spending some time adjusting, I don’t think I’ll find it easy to go back to my tacky ballpoints.
Anyone who knows me well knows how appalling my handwriting is.
For the first time since acquiring my pen license in year five, I feel incentivised to become a neater writer.