The Pen Is Mightier (Than the Word Processor)

The Pen Is Mightier (Than the Word Processor)

I’m a analog lady in a digital world. I like old points and old style. I made use of a rotary-dial phone prior to the march connected with progress in danger to grind us both. My auto just aplauded its twenty fourth birthday. I prefer canvas sneakers, gin martinis and handmade afghans.

Although I’m a new writer throughout contemporary moments, and I’ve adapted for you to new technological innovation. Frankly, most of it has been the blur. I do remember, nevertheless, sitting only at night in an office building between the 1980s, watching the boss’s inkjet printer slowly excrete 200 pages of hit-or-miss ASCII character types. For all I, the computer seemed to be trying to inform us something. My partner and i sent the particular pages for the tech guys at home office for evaluation. They even now haven’t obtained back to myself.

Fast-forward to now, when miniature microphones and voice-to-text software basically enable us all to write as fast even as can communicate. The next phase is virtually upon us, the place where a machine can write this novels with regard to me-and certainly publish them, collect royalties and your time money on nice issues for themselves.

But I feel it’s time and energy to ask: Is far more tech specifically an improvement? Is faster really better than slower? Is the destination more important than the journey?

Having those issues in mind, I took it upon by myself to investigate. For you to re-immerse by myself in the components and sounds I used to take pleasure in so meistens en-and and experiment with possibly older methods-I spent some sort of weekend focusing on my recent novel with an assortment of technological know-how that began between the building of the Sphinx and the opening up night of My very own Fair Lady.

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On Saturday early morning I satisfied down at my writing family table, a pot of coffee at my aspect and a wood-cased pencil during my hand. I chose a Blackwing 602, reputed for its soft core in addition to fragrant planks casing. (I’d decided to neglect inscribing words on stone or damp clay supplements and start together with the next publishing technology almost all closely related to those: graphite. )

Pencil sharpening is undoubtedly an act connected with beginning. A person sit down, anyone gather oneself, you resurface. You feel and also hear often the sharpener doing work, and you smell that new wood. You behold your newly revealed graphite. In case the point is definitely sharp, you feel brief anxiety over perhaps the microscopic, conical top part will break off as you feel it to help paper.

I spend time the deliberateness of the pad experience. As you write, the point degrades to whatever degree of dullness you feel such as tolerating. An individual rotate the to take advantage of the actual wear pattern-every rotation gives a sharper side.

When you produce with a pad, you are, within a real perception, drawing. If you’re laying down typically the two-dimensional graphics of words. You can create little as well as big; having light stress or heavy; you can printer carefully as well as race alongside in no matter what version involving cursive is yours to make.

You can eliminate mistakes! In case you’re with a tear, you are able to just reach through having vigor to hold going. You can also flurry straight down a satisfying storm regarding obliterating zigzags. The re-sharpening pause is a balm. Whilst sharpening, you will have a chance to check out, change the central length of your own gaze, cigarettes thinking for the moment in addition to use your hands and fingers differently.

We wrote regarding 1, 000 words with all the Blackwing, savoring its easy sturdiness. You don’t have to baby some sort of pencil. You can leave it left, you can even lose it without too much grief. You can write with it in a kayak or with a mountain ledge, or upside-down while laying in bed. Don’t worry about tattoo, mechanisms, batteries.

Mid-morning, I skipped ahead in time and also unholstered the trusty plastic-type material Pentel automated with a. 7 mm business lead, in the reasonably soft along with bold 2B grade I love. The obvious selling point of the kinetic pencil isn’t any sharpening, zero bother. An individual click a control button or perspective the gun barrel to improve your head, and you can create fast as well as precise. Often the writing knowledge is less different, though. That’s the price you pay.

Having any pen, one should bring many pressure to deal with, which positions wear and tear you. My writing elbow received sore after having a few hours of pencil perform.

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Soon after lunch I turned to a group of instruments you will need to dip throughout ink, that will marvelous chemical humans 1st concocted inside Neolithic instances. Hollow reeds served as writing applications in historic Egypt, China and taiwan and the Central East. These kinds of are still useful for drawing along with special calligraphy.

I’d identified a reed pen inside my art container, so I commenced with that. It had been a 7-inch-long wand with regards to a half-inch in diameter and also cut to a quill-like stage. I opened up a container of dark-colored Noodler’s tattoo, dipped the particular reed with and started off writing. I blobbed a lot of ink decrease at first, subsequently got the hang of making vibrant strokes.

Even now, I had to be able to reload having ink every few thoughts. Because of that, and also apart from the uniqueness, the experience had been wearying and just not simple. I perceived how a great reed with an expertly completed point-and a halfway seasoned scribe-could perform some magnificence.

Writing using a quill don’t go a lot better. I’d found a large feather during a stroll a few years ago and preserved it. At this point, following a web tutorial, My partner and i made any writing position from it is shaft. Just like the reed, typically the quill spewed an unsightly blot previous to scratchily putting together a contiguous series. After with regards to 10 words, it happened to run dry. My partner and i reloaded as well as kept heading, but the do the job was slow-moving and vexing. Thinking about the proven fact that Shakespeare wrote all of their plays using such an put into practice made me just about sick using pity. But life ended up being slower then, and I think most people had far more patience.

To get my night time writing I actually used the steel-dip dog pen, instrument of choice for many the scrivener in the 19th century when mass production created steel nibs reliable and also affordable. When I got picking it, We perceived college thinks gigantic techie leap forward ?t had been. I made use of a cheap holder and also a Speedball C-4 italic nib, made of a couple of pieces of metal that web form a tiny printer ink reservoir using surface tension. I could write half a web site before having for you to re-dip, along with OMG how almost beautiful my lumpish handwriting viewed! My composing output went with gushing, gratifying speed in contrast to any preceding method.

I actually wrote appreciatively, all night time, with the supremely lightweight soak pen, having almost no hand/elbow fatigue.

Weekend morning, I started in with a fountain coop, which gives you the best of the bottled-ink world minus the hassle along with hazard in the open inkwell. For this period I applied my small Pelikan Souveran and some brownish ink. Featuring a deliciously simple nib and warm acetate barrel, the fine note down wrote much like the wind. Our breathing slowed down, my body calm and I published for web pages and web pages without needing to replenish.

After one hour, I changed to our inexpensive plastic Lamy Firefox, the body in sprightly neon-yellow. That composing experience had been just as exciting. Smooth enough, easy to maintain and just simple fun in order to wham down words together with.

Later in the morning I noticed my Parker Jotter, this ubiquitous midcentury-modern item located in millions of workplace drawers world wide. The ballpoint pen, popularised between the Planet Wars, is pretty much the final in ink-based writing comfort. Inexpensive, idiot-proof, uniform. I wrote a couple of hundred words and phrases. The experience ended up being serviceable although bland-on the actual order in the mechanical pen.

Finally, about Sunday afternoon, I took on my boulderweight 1926 Underwood typewriter. We would acquired the idea for a performance of Leroy Anderson’s “The Typewriter” having a local symphony orchestra. (My usual part is timpanist. ) In stage, your machine was splendidly loud, along with a supremely authoritative carriage go back that do the perfect zzzip!

Consequently yeah, for a percussion device and mechanical marvel it absolutely was great. But to actually write with? Beloved God. My partner and i measured the travel from the keys: a inch and a half, as opposed to the one millimeter connected with my pc tablet’s keypad. You have to ram the take a moment down in which entire inchand- a-half to acquire a good impact from the bow onto often the paper. I stumbled upon myself pounding out thoughts as if participating in a Rachmaninoff finale to the back row. The clack, the actual zip, the actual rhythm, often the ding! The world knows you’re writing! I tried to gain strength through the smell with the machine essential oil and the thunder of the take some time, but my very own upper body just simply ran outside of gas. My spouse and i barely managed to get through 240 words-about one full webpage in typeset.

I must claim, though, I actually loved often the retro-funk benefits. Each page displayed a unique pattern involving wear, a fractional change in position, its own tiny personality. A manuscript created on a typewriter such as this would seem almost like a living matter. On Sunday evening, my very own experiment finish, I considered (weak as well as weary) all these questions:


As it challenges in addition to encourages the hands, eyes and human brain with assorted tools. Folks are different! Lots of people work better by simply going slowly but surely and by design, some simply by blasting away words at a blistering rate. My tips flowed the most effective (and I actually felt typically the best) with all the00 pencil, often the steel-dip pen and the fountain pens. That steel-nib soak pen had been truly a revelation.


I have a superb friend who might be blind as well as enjoys all the modern guidance of audiobooks, microphones in addition to optical-characterrecognition gentle ware. Let’s assume that Braille must now always be obsolete, I asked him just lately if he or she uses it anymore. Interestingly, he said he employs Braille equipment all the time: with regard to quick paperwork to him self as well as lengthier things this individual wants to take with you and examine back noiselessly when he’s out and about. That will resonated. Though I can chat notes in to my cell phone, I like writing issues down, and I’m never without a laptop computer, pen as well as pencil inside my purse.


The particular payoff for me personally is this: When I type our handwritten write into the computer-say, every 10 or 30 pages-I do a very natural-feeling first edit and revisions, thus delivering a true draft-and-a-half, as I like to think of it. Labor-intensive. Although fruitful. There’s no denying, intended for sheer effectiveness and amount of work, absolutely nothing surpasses modern day computer as well as wordprocessing soft ware. Those activities keep recovering and much better: Where the moment WordPerfect is the living stop, it today makes you need to slam your face on a packet. We’re all indebted to Microsof company Word along with similar delicate ware for creating our method incredibly effortless.


Today’s support wins. Just one might use a manuscript and do a good edit yourself (yay, pencil), to get in which on-paper aesthetic sense of things. However for the final item, there’s nothing just like deleting in addition to inserting along with up-to-theminute gentle ware.


I cannot view anybody the case that it is. There’s really it, absolutely, and fresh tech is definitely hugely accountable. I don’t think anybody should always assassinate all their computer. Famous and then, be sure to stop as well as smell typically the cedar. You can richer for your experience-and your personal writing may indeed reflect that.


• Old-school technology excuses you from the online world. No enticement to check the news or social websites. You can enjoy a quiet, relaxing environment when you create. • Simple, guide book tech is normally durable and reliable.

• There is something spiritual about having a wood-cased pen or a package of ink: As you use it, you lose the item. The object includes a lifespan.

• Paper issues. Cheap document, with its higher wood-pulp content material and hence harder surface, reasons ink to be able to feather and bleed. During these tests My partner and i alternated among an inexpensive retro-style notebook as well as a crazy-expensive expensive pad. The in overall performance and publishing pleasure seemed to be marked. Anything wrote finer on the insurance pad. Dang.

• Equally as a pulling of, point out, a plate of fruit might look far more alive than the thing themselves, so do these methods produce writing seem to be more in existence than the digital, perfectly formed letters with a screen. For this reason manual composing tech alone can really encourage creativity. You could even- my gosh! -doodle in the margins.

• The actual fits along with starts connected with early work-making notes, being thoughtful along with meditative-particularly benefit hasslefree instruments: pencil or even ballpoint pen and report.

• Any time writing personally, cuddle upward sideways in your table. Like that you don’t have to lean forward, and you will rest the whole forearm comfortably on the table.

• There’s something about a nib or feature pen that is encouraging. Your personal words circulation, for sure, although it’s virtually like the device wants you to do well.

• When you use common writing support, you’re enduring a bit of record. You are composing as our legendary warriors wrote, along with you’re dissolving the time space between you and all of them.

• Websites produced by negative based tech are generally susceptible to fireplace, flood, earthquake. So , when they’re not really thrown away right after they’ve served their reason, they need defense.

• When you are enjoying typically the physical procedure for writing, really hard for the little bitch or bastard on your get to tell you to shed heart in addition to quit.

• Studies have recently been done in regards to the benefits of writing by hand vs . electronically. Appears the actual experience of creating letters along with words produces more creative imagination molecules. Like that. Heya, if it functions, it works.