Writing and the Art of Ink

I love writing by hand. It’s one of life’s simple pleasures for me, and so I’ve accumulated quite a few types of pens to find types I really like.

For instance, I own quite a few “gel” ballpoint ink types. Not the old gel pens I used to play with as a kid (and at one point I had a 150-pen set of those in all colors), but the Pilot brand is I think the one I have the most of. I have small-nib pens too, .3 is the size I have the most of, because I write so small-like that I need something that will not blur my letters together. So those are my go-tos.

The favorite of mine are fountain pens.

Fountain pen (Bertram's Inkwell)
Bertram’s Inkwell

There’s just something so beautiful about fountain pens that I adore.

So I own one that looks kind of like that photo, but it’s made out of a wooden shell, with a magnetic cap. I’ll take a photo of it sometime, it’s very pretty. They are my favorite though, and I think there’s something timeless about using a fountain pen. On top of that, I own a few old style dip pens. My favorite is one that I bought in Freiburg while I was in Germany. I bought some beautiful deep blue ink and I only use that one for the most fancy of writing tasks, just because I feel that it needs that. But a fountain pen is something I feel can be used on a daily basis, even if it is a bit more fancy than perhaps is normal daily use.

I think there’s something magical about ink, and writing by hand. I don’t do it nearly enough. But I am sure to write those most important things I want committed to memory by hand. It is something that was put into my head by my 6th grade teacher. He always used to tell us that there is nothing that cannot be remembered if you write it by hand. He was not a fan of technology and abhorred us typing up any assignments. I think I remember 1 typed assignment in his class in a whole year–otherwise we wrote everything by hand. And I admit, I remember a lot of what he had me write up for our assignments, more than I remember specific details of assignments I wrote the next year when I was typing.

So I’ve always endeavored to try and find beautiful pens. They have to write smoothly and nicely, because otherwise they are just decorations without purpose for me. And while I like pretty decorations, I want to be able to use something that is bought to have a purpose. So I look for those pens that look good, but perhaps write even better. My gel ballpoints are casual, every day pens, so I don’t worry about how those look. But, for more “formal” (I guess that’s the word I want) pens, I want them to look good.

Which is something I’ve always thought about. If I ever were to write out a formal book of my practice–I would definitely have to use a fountain pen. There’s just something about it that seems right to do it that way. I don’t think I ever will get around to writing out what I do. I write tons of research notes, but that’s not the type of thing I think of when I consider writing down my practice and beliefs. That’s something different than research and note-taking. If I ever got around to writing down all my beliefs, I would write it all with a pretty fountain pen that had clean, clear writing lines when I used it.

I’m kind of ambiguous about the whole idea of writing out my beliefs where someone else might see them. I would so love to have it written, and in my own hand, but then there is the fact someone might read them. And there are some things I just don’t want other people to read. So I waffle ever on the issue. But if I write it all out–it will have to be with my favorite type of pen.

Writing and pen ink–definitely go together in my mind. So I’ll keep waffling on whether I ever write out an official accounting of my beliefs, but at least I know how I would write it out.



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I'm a bibliophile who loves collecting books. Definite cat person. Amateur historian and major geek, who loves all things Tolkien and Star Trek. I'm also fluent in German.

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