Monday, March 25, 2013

Writing Devices

Every writer has his/her own particular writing device.  I've had a thing for pens since I can remember.  I'm always looking for the perfect pen -- it is elusive, this perfect writing device.  Does it feel good in my hand?  Is the ink flow too strong?  The nib too wide?  So many factors to consider when you are purchasing the perfect pen.  I use different types of pens for different types of writing.  I'm fond of fountain pens for letters and journal entries.  And then for everything else, I'll use a gel ink pen.  I usually prefer a small nib or small point to a large one.  And for gel pens I prefer one that clicks, not one with a removable cap.  

I'm also looking for the best pen for the best price.  If you are in the market for a fountain pen, you'll probably never go wrong with a Lamy.  Lamy is a German pen maker and they produce a very high quality pen at a reasonable price (less than $100 for most in their line).  The trouble is finding a Lamy retailer in your local area.  In Germany they are everywhere.  So if you are stateside, you can find them on E-bay and, which  carries some of the Lamy line on their website.  For about $20 you can purchase one of their fountain pens -- their Safari -- which writes smoothly, is reliable, and at that price point, is affordable.  But it is not a heavy metal build, it's plastic and light.  So if you like a heavier pen look elsewhere (Lamy does have a stainless steal version that is heavier and quite nice.) 

If you want more of a calligraphic look to your writing, you can plop down $7 at your local Michael's craft store for a Scheaffer calligraphy pen.  They work well and are inexpensive.  I prefer a fine nib, but they come in three sizes -- fine, medium, and large -- for whatever writing style you prefer.  Finding the perfect pen should not prevent you from sitting down to write.  (It can, however, frustrate you enough to stop mid-sentence.)  But try out some different brands.  

Finally,  if you are looking for the nice fountain pen that is reliable and feels good in your hand, then you probably can't go wrong with a Waterman.  You'll be looking between $100-$200 for one of their nicer pens, but it is something that you'll have with you for many years.  And like old guitars, whose wood ages gracefully and tone matures with age, a fine fountain pen will do the same.  Over time, the pen's nib will bend and form to the amount of pressure you use when writing.  It will become your pen -- responsive to your writing style.  And it might make a nice gift to a son or daughter many years later.

There are plenty of great fountain pens out there.  You don't have to spend too much money for a good fountain pen.  But you should try writing with one.  It will, I believe, remind you how much writing can be an art and a pleasure.

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