Friday, February 14, 2014

Horses for Courses

I've tended to cycle back and forth on writing instrument preferences. For a while I'll swing more or less totally pencil or completely fountain pen, and then back again. Lately I've been using fountain pen for work notes again--enjoying the brighter colors, greater contrast, and lack of smearing once dry.

So last night when I jumped back in to working on my NaNoWriMo story, I thought I'd switch to pen there, too. I sat down with my notebook and wrote about three words before panic set in.

Aw, heck no.

I guess I need a certain amount of impermanence to feel comfortable when fiction writing. For now, at least, with this particular story. So I dropped the fountain pen like a hot potato (not literally--you fountain pen lovers can get off my back) and went back to pencil. Whew. Much better.

How about you? Do you use different tools for different purposes? Switch from one to another over time based on mood? Or is it all or nothing?


Joe V said...

I gravitate toward fountain pen in composition book, with a red ballpoint pen for corrects, for when I'm writing something semi-serious. For miscellaneous note-taking, I do like a wood pencil, which I keep on my desk mounted in a portable pencil sharpener, as a sort of pencil holder. And I find it harder to compose on a typewriter, unless I'm using the BAROP (or its little brother the LAROP), wherein blasting out endless reams of double-spaced type (with typos) doesn't seem so bad.

Bill M said...

I tend to change from pencil to a fountain pen. I seldom use a gel or ballpoint unless I need non-washable ink. I've yet to get a bottle of Noodler's. Once I do I think any gel writers will go.

I prefer a fountain pen when I am copying Morse Code. Can't get any smoother than a good fountain pen.

At work I use pencil 90% of the time due to the fact I can't mark prints and programs in pen; nobody can. I do use a fountain pen for notes, black ink for white paper and blue for the yellow legal pads.

I even have the only typewriter in the entire building, Royal Signet from 1932 or 33.

Anonymous said...

Among my pencils, I have decided favorites, but I switch up pretty often just so I can pretend I need all these damned pencils.

speculator said...

My addition to these great comments is that I've regularly kept 3 parallel journals for years:
* A pocketable book for idea-jottings, always in pencil (my blog is named after these little notebooks).

* A sturdy, hardcovered book (always unruled) for developing and elaborating thoughts into paragraphs; this is always in either fountain pen or pen&ink (with a dip pen).

* A disc-bound looseleaf notebook for typewriter use. This is my favorite means for stream-of-consciousness journaling.

Golly, I guess all the tools remain in circulation that way!

Little Flower Petals said...

Interesting comments, all! I particularly like Speculator's comments on keeping different journals with different writing instruments. I have a feeling this is where I'm headed: lately I've been using Field Notes(and pencil) for records of my "three good things" and basic daily doings and facts to remember later, and reserving a larger comp book (currently in fountain pen) for more meandering thought exploration or venting. I used to bunch the two together, but it made parsing out what-happened-that-day difficult if I wanted to look back.

And for fiction, I can go either way, but currently that's pencil.