I have a question for you. Pen or pencil? Seriously, pen or pencil? As I write more, I am torn by the decision over which writing utensil to use.
Some of you are probably asking, “You mean Mr. Technology doesn’t practice what he preaches and do his writing digitally?” Fair question, because I struggle with that as well. But for the sake of this discussion let’s table that thought and focus on the old school. . . pen or pencil?
I’ll start by making the case for using a pen. A pen is permanent and requires a certain amount of attention to detail. If you make a mistake, you can only scribble it out. However, what a great feeling it is to write something in pen and look at an unblemished page. Take about euphoria!
Pens come in a variety of shapes, sizes, styles and inks. A person can express themselves simply by the pen they choose: ball point or fountain, gel or not. Each makes a statement.
I love the way ink flows from a nice pen. It’s poetry in motion as the ink oozes from inside the cylinder. Nothing compares to the smooth feel of ink as it releases on to the page. I just love it.
But a pencil, now there is a no nonsense tool. Lead, wood, rubber. Nothing more, nothing less. I know, what about mechanical pencils? That too, is a different discussion.
I truly love the way a pencil scratches across the page. Almost as if there isn’t a care in the world. Get out of my way, I’m coming through.
Make a mistake? No problem, just erase it.
When it comes to a sense of accomplishment, a pencil is hard to beat. First, the more you write, the duller the tip becomes and you know your making progress.
As the tip loses it’s edge, a simple turn of the shaft restores the sharpness in a fine choreography of form and function. Learning the right time to spin your pencil becomes an art form all its own.
As your pencil tip wears out, you simply sharpen it and watch as the wood is slowly whittled away. Nothing says “job well done’ like a short pencil. And you know there is that magic length that makes a pencil feel as if it’s been custom made for your fingertips.
As you can see, it’s really not that simple. Pen or pencil? Each has it’s fine points. Each has it’s flaws. Such a hard decision to make. Today, it’s pencil, tomorrow who knows. Regardless, I’m excited to be struggling with the decision, because it means I’m writing more.
Now, have you tried the Apple Pencil?