old school

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Pens and Pencils.”

This is quite the timely prompt. One, it allows me to procrastinate even more on studying for AAP (which I basically have decided is impossible). Two, this is exactly the direction I’m going in.

So, let me explain. The prompt asks about when was the last time you took the time to write something substantial in the old fashioned pen and paper. Well, I write my notes in class everyday with a pen and a notebook. I don’t know if that qualifies as substantial, but I’ll consider it as one. I’ve also started carrying around a small pocket notebook to write down all my ideas and to do lists or whatever. It’s the Baron Fig Apprentice. I’ve mentioned this brand quite a lot because it’s quality stuff. I love it. It has decent pricing and it definitely competes with the bigger brands such as Moleskine and Leuchtturm. I’ve practically converted to Baron Fig notebooks exclusively. (And no, I’m not getting any sort of endorsement from these guys. I just really really love their products.)

Going back to the old school idea of notebooks, it’s something I’m doing now. My notes have always been in the cheap Mead notebooks you get for about a quarter during back to school sales. That hasn’t changed since high school. But now that I’m getting into fountain pens, I’m starting to realize the quality of hand writing everything again. So much so, that this novel that’s been burning in my head for the last year or so as finally taken over my brain and I’ve decided to write it all down in a Baron Fig Confidant. It’ll just be notes for now, but I eventually plan on writing it all out as well as typing it because it’s so much faster.

In fact, the entire fountain pen experience has been quite a trip. I want to buy more pens! And ink! It’s expensive, especially for a poor grad student. But it makes writing so much fun again. I’ve never found more excuses to write things down than ever before. I actually cracked open one of my lined journals I bought a couple years ago to start a journal. I buy all these notebooks with all the intentions of filling them with journal entries, or with a millions of ideas for stories that run through my head, but I never actually do. Now I do. I just realized I missed yesterday’s entry, but that’s okay. I can write a new one right after I finish this post.

So to really answer this question, yes, I wrote an actual journal entry a couple days ago. I’m going to write one soon. I’m going to start filling up my Confidant with awesome stuff. In fact, I have another Confidant that’s filled with doodles. Well, it’s maybe about a fifth full, but the rest of the blank pages are there waiting to be filled up with the next greatest idea.

To answer the second part — could I every imagine going back to pre-keyboard era? Oh heck no. If EVERYTHING, including my paper and reports and what have you, had to be hand written and turned in? Forget it. It’d take forever. The convenience of the keyboard and the computer is fantastic. You can send emails in a flash and get a reply just as quickly. Imagine asking for something important in writing and having to wait two weeks? No. There could be phone calls sure, but then you’d have to hop in your car and pick up the powerpoint or the documents in person. For the sake of efficiency, I don’t ever want to go back to a pre-keyboard era.

But for personal matters such as journals or letters or novels? Sure, go ahead, write them down in the old fashioned way. Sometimes, it’s the experience of putting a pen down on paper and having it glide across as you put down your ideas is really what it’s all about.


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