I know for myself that there is not a “right” writing utensil, but
I do recognize my patterns and what works best for me in different situations.
Different genres beg me to use certain instruments: a pen/pencil and notebook,
the notes in my phone, and my computer. I am in no way rigid when it comes to
selecting what I use to compose, but depending on the day, the time, my mood,
and my purpose, I do gravitate towards one of the three. I use my writing
intuition, so to speak, to direct me to select which utensil will work best for
When I write in the morning (whether creatively or professionally) over a cup
of tea, I use my notebook–just a Dollar Store notebook. I do like the fun
patterns with elephants and geometric shapes, but a green or black marble more
classic look will also do. I am not too picky with the pen that I use. There
are times when I want to write with green: my favorite color. Sometimes I want
to feel a pencil’s graphite scratch along the page. But most times, I grab the
first pen I can find in my apartment. There is this perfect synergistic energy
that happens for me early in the morning when my pen/pencil connects to paper.
After a school day or after my creative time on the weekend or summer
weekday, I move into professional writing: blog posts, grad work, or article
drafting. This almost always happens on my computer. However, I spend time
rehearsing–composing in my mind–before I sit down at the blank screen. By the
time I begin any writing piece I know where I want to start, what journey I
want to take, and where I hope to end up. What is interesting, though, is that
I spent time one morning writing this post in my creative notebook because it
was on my mind, and I had not started it. I revisited those pages three times
more, adding other blog ideas before I crafted them in a Word document and then
transferred them over to this website. I guess patterns and rules are made for
breaking in order to find the right writing utensil.
Lastly, much of my rehearsing turns into a note in my phone before I move to
Word. More formal assignments and essays for my graduate classes, longer blog
posts for Pennsylvania Writing and Literature Project (PAWLP), presentation
outlines, and journal articles move from a script in my mind to notes. I do not
type this on my phone but rather speak them. I find that my sub-conscious
thoughts flow freely if I speak them. There is something different that happens
between speaking and recording your ideas and typing to record your ideas. I
also use my phone to collect writing inspirations that I do not want to forget.
I hope you have found a system that works for you. If you are still
searching, consider one of these ideas to play with. Remember to listen to that
inner voice—not only for your words and thoughts, but also for the instruments
to enable you to commit your ideas to paper or the screen.