June 7, 2015


“My two fingers on a typewriter have never connected with my brain. My hand on a pen does. A fountain pen, of course. Ball-point pens are only good for filling out forms on a plane.”
—Graham Greene

Graham Greene is right. There’s something special about the way ink flows out of a fountain pen nib, leaves a trail of shiny wet ink, and then slowly dries on the paper.

Six pens

Writing with a pen or pencil forces a more medititative or creative style of writing than a keyboard or mouse. Whenever I write a new post here, plan a document, or outline a presntation. I start with paper and fountain pen or pencil―pen when i know what I’m going to say and pen for drafting ideas.

I was recently listening to a podcast interview between Merlin Mann and Brett Terpstra where they talked about pencils and they captured this well…

“Slow down how quickly you’re writing and they way you think about what you’re writing changes. When I write slower than I want to write, two things happen; I write much more neatly and the way that I’m thinking changes. It forces a different kind of modality … considered writing”

Much as I love precision writing instruments, there’s something wonderful and organic about drawing an engineering sketch with a wooden pencil. Using a classic wooden pencil takes is right back to our earliest frawing and writing experience.



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