Category Archives: Writing

Writing Evolution

I like gel pens and fountain pens. That’s it.

Wait.

Lets back this up.

I started on crayons. I think we all did.

I graduated to pencil at some point, I don’t really remember when. Then after some time, I was granted access to a pen. Not a good pen I’m sure, just a pen. A ball point pen.

Maybe a Bic?

It’s likely something the modern version of that little boy shivers at.

I don’t like ball point pens.

I use ball points and pencils for years.

How many?

I don’t remember. I’ve been drawn to the office supply aisles in my local stores any time I ventured near for as long as I remember.

Office supply. How formal can you get? I guess it’s better than “school supply” seeing how I’m not in school any more. I was back then I suppose.

Those office supplies transformed in time. Pencils, ball points, now we have gel pens.

I found the Pilot G2. I am delighted.

At some point I find a Parker Vector hanging in the aisle at Meijer. I think Meijer is a Michigan thing, or at least a midwest thing. Insert your favorite local everything store. That’s where I found my catalyst.

Not now, but later. It will explode later.

I spent years with gel pens. There’s nothing wrong with that, I love gel pens to this day. My pen drawer has many Pilot G2, Uni-Ball Signo 207, and Pilot Juice. I recommend those pens all the time, practically beg people to use them.

I graduate from gel to fountain over time. That Vector, it comes back. It sat in waiting, patient and quiet.

I find the Parker Vector in a box. I also find a package of cartridges. I put them together and find bliss.

I spend 8 years enamored by the fountain pen, shunning all others. The fountain pen is pure, the fountain pen is classic, the fountain pen is right.

Eventually an old friend creeps back into the frame.

He’s made of wood and graphite. He doesn’t replace the fountain pen, instead he brings his own nostalgia. He’s not the same, he’s delightfully different.

There’s the sound against paper that delights me. It’s a scritching sound. That’s the best I can do to describe it. Then there’s the smell of cedar, the remnants after a sharpening.

I dive in, head first. Like I did with fountain pens at one point. My collection swells, just as the fountain pens have. Vintage, modern, rare. I must have them all.

My collection evolves. I own more pencils, more pens, more inks than I can use in a lifetime. Maybe that’s not true, depending how wordy I can be. Maybe I can use my collection before I die but at the rate I’m acquiring, it’s not likely. Every week a new writing product arrives.

I’m obsessed by this hobby. I’m scared of my spending.

I have piles of paper, piles of pencils, piles of pens. Piles of piles and piles for miles. It’s not enough. I want to own them all, to feel them all, to try them all. Each drag of graphite across each kind of paper followed by each nib filled with each ink. Everything needs to be mine, everything needs my touch.

I’m a maniac, driven by paper lust. I must consume that which I have not tried. I must have what’s new and what’s old and everything in between. Bring me your half sharpened pencils, your best and worst ink, your smoothest or scratchiest nib, I must try them now.

This is my evolution of writing. This is my descent into madness.

Let’s Be Bad At Things

Sometimes I’m afraid of turning this site into a pity party but no one reads me so I’ll try to rid myself of that fear. This is more for me than you but feel free to read if you must.

Hey Brad, it’s okay to suck at this writing thing.

You’ve read a hundred articles on the subject but you haven’t grasped the concept. Pretty much everyone sucks when they start doing something. The real victory shows when you push through the barrier, admit you suck, and keep on chugging. This applies to writing, photography, design, and pretty much everything you can imagine. They say practice makes perfect and while I don’t know if “perfect” is the right word, practice sure makes you better to some degree.

I hated my Ti2 TechLiner review. I really did. Why? It lacked feeling, it felt forced, and it was abnormally hard to write. Of course I know why, I haven’t tried to write anything in months! If you pick up a pen or sit down at a keyboard once in a blue moon, you’re not likely to produce anything worth caring about. The trick is to sit down, pound out garbage, publish it (or whatever applies in your situation), and move on to the next thing. Sure it might suck but people have short memories these days, keep at it and eventually you’ll write something resonates with someone out there.

So this is a note to myself — and anyone else doubting themselves — keep up the bad work. You’ll eventually become mediocre and when you do, you’ll feel pretty darn great.

The Passable Writer

I’ve always thought I’d be some sort of writer. Not a good writer, a passable one. A passable writer won’t be widely read, they won’t be overly interesting, nay, they won’t even be talked about. A passable writer will spell things wrong, their grammar might be poor, they might even over-use commas, but just enough people will read their words to keep them in business, whatever that is.

If you’re going to do something, I guess there’s less to aspire to than a passable writer. I could be a blogger! Oh wait.

So if I were a passable writer, I’d write. Instead I’m even less than that, I’m a guy who could be a passable writer who also doesn’t write. That’s the recipe for a good joke I suppose.

Hold on a second, I said mean things about bloggers a paragraph ago. I don’t believe there are bloggers any more than I believe there are joggers. You either write or you run, it doesn’t matter what speed or what your subject, just do it. That’s what Nike said so who can argue?

Okay back to the whole self loathing thing. If I were a passable writer, I’d be ecstatic right now. I almost put an expletive in that sentence but something told me you didn’t want to read that. Or maybe you did so go back and add whatever spice you like, I’ll wait.

Long story short, I don’t write, you don’t read me, and I didn’t curse in this bit of passable writing. I’m giving me a gold star.

That was passable right?

Why I’m Not Writing

I’m lazy.

That’s the cold, hard truth. I — like a lot of people with blogs — am avoiding the hard work. I have ideas, I have drafts, I have things I could be writing yet when I sit down to work I freeze and end up playing video games or surfing the web.

This is nothing more than a bad habit, one I let myself fall into. Maybe writing is hard, maybe it’s not, that has nothing to do with it. I’ve been scribbling down ideas and trying to expand on thoughts, I just haven’t been able to create something for public consumption. I count it a small victory that I’m doing anything but it’s not a real victory until I publish.

People who actually write tell us to write even when you have nothing to say so here I am. It’s nothing more than self loathing but it’s something.