A Writer’s Pen.

Posted on Feb 3, 2014

Backstory: My writing process begins, always, by hand and preferably on old-school loose-leaf paper.

PilotPensStaples no longer carries my favourite Pilot pen in their stores. This is rubbish. Did they not sell enough volume to make it worth their while? Was the profit margin disagreeable? Was there a supply problem? Was there a skiff between agents? A moral dilemma?

What ever could it be that has caused my pen of choice for writing—indeed, the only pen I’ll write with—to be cast away forever?

Is this one of those moments in the story where the reader says, ‘Move on, times have changed,’ knowing it’s all for the best and that better things will precipitate out of this most terrible situation?

Or is it a moment when the reader cries out, ’Hold your ground! Stand up for history, for honour, for tradition and for all that is true in the world, like good pens!’ because she, like viewers of Downton Abbey, knows what’s to come and implores us to be on the right side of history?

Do I stand and fight for what is dear to me? Or do I evolve with grace and go with the (ink) flow? We find ourselves here, dear reader, in a defining moment.

What to do? Do I find a new pen – searching, experimenting, speculating, failing, suffering through the pain and frustration of gouging a poorly tuned instrument across an innocent sheet of paper?

Or shall I drive the great distance across the countryside to another city where I suspect an art supply shop still has the good sense to be a vendor of fine tools such as the Pilot pen? Mind you, the last time I ventured there in search of a specific instrument—a 0.18mm ink pen—I was satisfied at first to locate one, but was later vexed when its tip could not withstand a flurry of impassioned sentences, and crushed in upon itself.

I could ask other writers their advice on favoured writing instruments. But I don’t want to be a copy cat. I don’t want to blindly follow a path just because others are. I prefer goats to sheep.

Then again, why—as they say—reinvent the wheel? If a particular pen is known to work exceptionally well for some writers then why not for me? Why should I waste precious energy carving my own path—out of egoic pioneerism—when there is already a wonderful well-trodden trail?

I don’t want to be foolish about the whole thing. I certainly don’t want to blow it out of proportion, as someone who has cultivated her eccentricities might very well do.

I need a new pen that will write through thick and thin with me, through aimless spewing of words and forceful passionate prose, a pen that will glide across paper, never impeding the flow, and yet refuses to slip across the page like a yes-man with no resistance to poorly assembled words…..

And here I am, squandering the finite supply of ink in my last Pilot pen, scribbling wildly about its impending doom! ‘Omit needless words’, wrote William Strunk Jr. His advice was focused on writing style, but it couldn’t suit this pen disaster more perfectly.

Needed: a good pen.

Image via Norman’s.

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  1. Hollie Olivia
    February 3, 2014

    Everything’s going to be okay! I’ve discovered we can still order the pens online and that there are crafty people out there refilling their treasured Pilot pens. Yay team! See this artist’s post: http://www.parkablogs.com/content/refilling-pilot-v5-v7-hi-tecpoint-rolling-ball-pens

  2. Charity
    February 4, 2014

    We MUST stock up. I never condone hoarding, but this is a dire situation. Just look at what happened with our favourite lip gloss!! I’m down to only half a tube of Minute Éclat. There is no more. It’s over. What is to become of us if that supplier discontinues?

  3. A&E
    February 9, 2014

    Oh, Woe are we who get comfortable in this disposable generation. By the time I get my new computer home, they tell me it’s obsolete ! And phones ! Don’t get me started. I went to get E and I new cell phones. I asked the gum chewing high school kid behind the desk for “just a telephone”. With a derisive snort and a glance at his grade 7 girlfriend, who is just hanging for a giggle, this little pimple repository informs me that they don’t make telephones anymore.
    We left red-faced with 2 new Galaxy 4 Androids. E carries hers in her purse and shows everyone she has it, but can’t turn it on. Mine hangs from my belt like a scalp for the old warrior who is trying to maintain some sense of youthful acceptance. I don’t know how to work the damn thing either.
    They tell me that they’re doing away with LL phones and we’ll all have to operate on cell phones in the future. My God ! Give me two tin cans and some string. Sorry you can’t find the right pen !!!!!