Writing Tools: Handwriting

Being a writer could mean anything. It’s a quite large umbrella term, just like artist or scientist. Like any other label, what we use as writers, or artists, or scientists defines us. Writer could mean anything from articles to webblogging and anything inbetween. There are many tools that we as writers use, whether it be programs, or specific devices or inks. Anything that helps us get those words down on the page, or whatever mediym we decide to use, makes us writers.

Our choices in the tools we use says a lot about us, a lot about our circumstances, and a lot about our preferences. We can consistently stick with one medium, or we can use several at a time. The choices are endless, and I suspect they will be forever changing.

When I started writing, I used a pencil and a spiral bound notebook. It worked at the time, especially since I had just started eighth grade and still felt more comfortable with a pencil than a pen, since I had been using only pencils since I learned how to write. It worked for a while, but then I began to notice that the pencil rubbed off and made the pages ashy and unreadable in certain areas. Not only that, but the metal spirals would get crunched and never remain quite viable enough to prevent the ripping of pages. If I wanted to preserve my writing, so I could continue to read it, and work with it, something had to change.

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So I switched to ballpoint pens, and I went through several brands before I found one I actually enjoyed writing with every time. It took a few rounds of trial and error to find which pen didn’t leak through to the other side of the page, or bleed at just the slightest humidity, making the page look messy, or which pens would scratch through the pages with just the slightest change in pressure or ink. It took several rounds of pen buying, and pen tossing before I found the best fit for me.

A little background on my handwriting “posture”. I am left-handed (which means I pretty much always smudge), and I balance the pen on my ring finger rather than my middle finger. Using my ring finger as a balance gives me more support from my thumb, fore finger and middle finger, but that also means I can write pretty heavy on the page at times.

The pens that work best for me, and that I love are the R.S.V.P. by Pentel. They have a grip to support my fingers and prevent me from gripping too hard and writting too heavy, they have great ink flow and last a pretty long time (depending on how much I write), they have a clear plastic, so I can actually watch the ink and not be too surprised when I run out, and they come apart easy so I can replace the cartridge when needed. Not only that, but the ink stays where I want it on the page, with no bleeding or fading and it looks amazing. They come in several different ink colors, and sizes, which makes the choices practically endless, and you can even “build your own” as I like to call it. Currently, I have a purple grip and an electric blue topper, and I just replace the ink cartridge when it runs out.

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As for notebooks, I used spiralbound for several years, just dealing with the crunched metal spirals and the hazzards that came with it. I was used to ripped pages, small jabs, notebooks stuck together, and many other hazzards that presented themselves. After all, the writing inside was still readable, and spiral bound were the cheapest and easiest. And then I found the non-spiral bound. The notebooks with the smooth edge and the pages that had no change to get ripped when turned on the warped spirals. So I bought a few, and tried them out. I liked them, but the only problem was in my area therer were few of them sold. Finally, after years and years of not seeing them, and still using spiral bound, or loose leaf paper in a binder (with lots of those reinforcement stickers, and staples), I came across composition notebooks.

I started using composition notebooks for all of my writing toward the end of 2010 and I absolutely loved them. No spirals to get warped or catch my hand on, no risk of pages falling out, hard cardboard cover, basically no problems, Not to mention super cheap almost year round. They also come in fun festive patterns and are easy to decorate with sharpies.

So my current tools are a composition notebook (at least 3 for each book, one for each section) and an R.S.V.P. by Pentel with several refills.

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What are your handwriting tools? Why do you like them best?

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