1/6/11

Writing Old School - Penmanship and the Fountain Pen

I love my keyboard, don't get me wrong, but I still enjoy writing by hand.

I'm old enough to remember when every lawyer had to have his or her own Montblanc pen (mine was pretty and feminine and silver with a sweet leather case; I still have it) - and you whipped that puppy out at depositions or hearings just like you would unsheath a dagger.

[By the way, check out the Montblanc website. Wow. It's wonderful.]

Over time, I've lost the pretty penmanship that I once had. It was something that I took pride in, truth be told, and I remember getting compliments on my handwriting.

Not today, boy howdy. It's a scrawl. I just don't write by hand that much these days. I'm out of practice. That's changing.

One thing I did: I went and bought some cool pens. The one that I'm really having fun with right now: my Varsity Disposable Fountain Pen.

It's light in my hand, and its retro packaging reminds me of the 1940s tho I don't know that back in the day they provided the handy ink window that the Varsity does. I like to imagine that Bacall used a pen similar to this in all those notes she must have written to Bogie.  You get the idea. 

And here's the thing:  as I write by hand, I am realizing that it helps my writing.  Writing by hand, you are forced to go slower than typing on a keyboard.  Words get time to get pondered in a way that the computer doesn't allow. 

The pleasure of words - synonyms, variations in use, origins.  Writing with a pen encourages my wonder and I like this, I've missed it. 

So, in my journal and on conference calls these days, I'm writing with an actual fountain pen. I enjoy it. Maybe you will too. Pick up a cool pen and try it.
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