My affinity for writing instruments can be traced back to that first box of Crayolas. It was a box of eight chubby crayons, manufactured specifically for the beginning colorer. Those eight colors created magic, whether on the pages of a coloring book or a blank sheet of paper.
From there I moved on to the chubby graphite pencil in first grade—or maybe it was kindergarten. Regardless, the pencil represented the rite of passage between toddlerhood and one’s first serious stab at the craft of writing ABCs. Of course there was that first book report written in ink—another crowning achievement on the road to writing.
While my choice of writing instrument has evolved through the years, the need to surround myself with quality pens and pencils has not. And I suspect I’m not alone in this.
If you’ve ever borrowed someone’s pen and found yourself saying, “Wow. That’s a great pen,” you know what I’m talking about. If you’ve ever found yourself looking for your favorite pen (while accusing innocent bystanders of pen-thievery), I’m talking to you.
Like me, you probably have various and sundry writing instruments all over the house. A desk drawer has three bins assigned to hold fine selection of pencils (mechanical and old school), highlighters, markers, ball point and gel pens. An oversized mug holds more of the same, as does the living room end table, night stand, tote bags, car console, and so on.
Too many choices? Probably. Especially if you consider the fact that when at all possible, I bypass every other pen in the house in favor of Pilot pens. They’re reliable and predictable. The others just sit there and wait for me to have a moment of desperation, which isn’t likely since I have about 3,700 Pilots. (Note: This is not a paid advertisement, although I am willing to have that conversation.)
For me, it isn’t enough to surround myself with pens I love. I must break them down by task as well.
The Pilot G-2, .5mm or .7mm is my all-day everyday go-to pen. It’s important to have one within reach wherever I am. When journaling or attending meetings, I’m also fond of the Pilot Precise RT. Who can say happy place?
My everyday choice is blue ink. It’s perfect for just about anything I want to do, from taking notes or scratching out to-do lists to signing checks. From a practical standpoint, it’s easier to spot an original document when it’s signed in blue ink—and some say it makes for easier recall and sparks creativity, as well. Win, win.
If I’m looking for a nice contrasting ink—and the editor in me often does—I tend to go with green. Green ink can be effective without overkill or unnecessary abrasion. Katie bar the door though, when the red pen makes an appearance. If you see me using the red pen, it means my evil editor alter ego has escaped.
“Get out of her way! She’s using the red pen!”
If I’m using the red pen, that probably means I have my hair in a tight bun and my glasses on the tip of my nose. You’ve been warned.
I like a nice fine point on my pens—nothing thicker than a .7mm , and preferably .5mm. These tips create a clean, crisp line every time. Because that’s how I roll.
Topping things off
Years ago, I preferred removable pen caps for reasons that escape me. Maybe I hadn’t thought things through. Because as most ladies know, there’s little worse than pulling out a pen top from the bottom of your new leather purse, only to find your fingers covered in ink and no pen in sight.
I say no thank you. Give me a retractable pen. Every time.
In the past, my pen du jour for book signings has been a felt tip—typically the Paper Mate Flair. Both dry on contact and both make a bold statement. Except when I goof up and sign my name incorrectly. And yes, that happens. I can’t believe it happens, but it does.
Which is why I can’t wrap things up without telling you about my latest find: a truly erasable, erasable pen. I mean it. It really erases. Completely. And guess who makes it? That’s right. Our friends at Pilot. The FriXion is a clear winner all the way around, and will be accompanying me on future book signings, for the next time I forget how to write my own name.
In fact, I could be prepared to leave all the others and throw my loyalties solely to FriXion. Pilot people, are you listening?
What is your favorite writing instrument? Do you prefer pen or pencil? Thick tip or thin? Black ink, blue, or another color? Drop me a line and let me know!