P is for Pens

When you write often, you start to develop preferences for certain writing instruments and you start to loathe others. When I was in middle school, gel pens were a big trend. Everyone wrote with them (until teachers banned them) – on their hands, on the desks, on everyone else’s hands…

I loved gel pens, too. I got the kind that sparkled, and when you ran your finger over the text, you got sparkles all over your finger. I got scented ones – and I can still smell the scent of those gel pens on notebooks I finished over ten years ago. I got the neon ones, the metallic ones… they were amazing. I even got a notebook with black pages so the bright colors of the pens could show up better. To this day, I wish I had bought more of those black-page notebooks. I have not been able to find one like the one I had.

Pens with gel ink are nice, but they’re not made for intense writing. I bought a few black gel ink pens about two years ago, and they didn’t last me very long. That gel ink writes so smoothly, but it runs out quick. I like a pen that can last me a while.

So I found the InkJoy pen. They’re ballpoint pens, but they write so smoothly and they don’t run out of ink as fast as gel pens. The ink doesn’t smear or smudge, you don’t have to bear down hard on the paper to get it going… it’s just plain awesome. In a way, it brings back the joy of using gel pens… an odd writerly joy, but a joy nonetheless.

Do you have a favorite writing instrument?

10 thoughts on “P is for Pens

  1. Sad, perhaps, to say… I still like gel pens, but only use them for keeping score when I play Boggle, or for notes to self. I find that my hands cramp to quickly if I try extended writing by hand any more… not to mention that I usually cannot read what I’ve written when it’s all said and done.


    • That’s the one thing I don’t like about writing by hand; my handwriting is terrible. Everyone tells me so and I honestly don’t want to expend the effort to write neater. So I type almost everything.


  2. I DO have a favorite writing instrument (although I might give the Inkjoy pen a whirl). My pen of choice is the Uni-ball “Signo,” with the micro point. I’m not at all particular 🙂 I have to buy them in bulk, and my only complaint is I can’t find ink refills for them, so it’s a waste of plastic every time I use one up.


  3. When we were young me and my friends used to love fountain pens. I guess we thought we were really grown up and mature. Nowadays, to write freely, I use biro/ballpoint pens – like you :).


  4. I used fountain pens through school until they broke or started getting too smudgy. Biros didn’t work so well, so i’ve settled on the Uni-Ball Signo which is really good, so i always have a dozen lying around! 🙂


  5. My “main axe” is the Lamy Safari fountain pen (http://www.lamyusa.com/fountain_main_safari.php). I have three of them, and pretty much every word of fiction I’ve written over the last ten years has started with one of them. I find them pleasant to write with, and I can write for a long time before my wrist or hand get tired.

    That being said, I do like gel pens, and I will have to try the Inkjoy. That sounds good. And, yes, the Signo is a very good pen also.

    My handwriting is terrible, too, but nobody has to be able to read my first drafts other than me. 🙂


      • The trick with fountain pens is that the cheap ones will give you some idea what they’re like, but they’re not that good. They tend to leak and break, and they don’t feel that good when you’re writing. The Safari pens that I use cost $20-$25, but they’re much better made (generally they will last for many years of writing every day) and the feeling of writing with them is much more pleasant.


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