Getting Inked

Posted by: on Mar 24, 2010 | 2 Comments

I must admit, I don’t get the chance to hand-write many things. It’s not that I have wonderful penmanship either, average at best, but there is something much more pleasurable and thoughtful about writing something by hand than typing it. Once written, you can’t take something back, and every stroke must be deliberate and premeditated. If you want to edit, you must do so with more scratches and more writing; no type, delete, type, delete, etc. Only more ink, not less. Personally, I find this process liberating from the ephemeral natural of a lot of the writing we do these days (email, texting, etc.).

When I do get the chance to write by hand (notes to myself, thank you notes, my nonacademic writing), I do so with a Waterman fountain pen given to me by my girlfriend, thoughtfully engraved with a favorite line of Flaubert. The nib is nice and flexible without being flimsy, the ink flow is consistent, and the pen seems to glide effortlessly across most paper. I’d like to see a keyboard with this much beauty and personal value. (My camera is on the fritz – but this is the same pen.)

There are lots of very nice pens out there, not just Watermans, and many that won’t totally break the bank – an indulgence well worth their price. Also, I don’t mean to sound so down on computers, you obviously wouldn’t be reading this without them, but sometimes it’s the little things which separate moments from the ordinary that makes them luxurious. Even if it’s just for writing a grocery list, a fine pen is at the top of my list of luxuries that are almost necessities.


  1. DAG
    March 24, 2010

    Don't you think that the right pen makes a difference in your writing? I have a Montblanc that I LOVE. Great posts – keep it up.


  2. Stephen Pulvirent
    March 24, 2010

    DAG – I couldn't agree more. My handwriting has improved more since I starting using a fountain pen than in all the years prior. Plus, the weight of a nice metal and lacquer pen feels so much nicer than a light flimsy piece of plastic.

    Thank you for the compliment, and I'm glad to have you on-board.


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