I just stopped. The pen was so faulty in putting ink to paper that I just stopped taking notes. And then I just stopped thinking. And that isn’t much help when you’re actually trying to put thoughts to paper.
I like writing pens that spew copious amounts of ink. It needs to keep up with all the great thoughts bubbling out of my mind of course. Yes, this can create aesthetic problems when one’s writing is already horrible and the ink is now smearing and disfiguring the whole affair. But no one is actually going to read my scrawling notes anyway so there’s really not much downside. I rarely even read them.
But strange how not having the right pen gets in the way. For years I bought cheap pens (because I was cheap and poor) and my creative output suffered. Not the right kind of suffering for art. Now I buy nice pens, which is defined less by price than by how much ink I think will ooze forth. My creativity likes nothing better than some good oozing ink.
Sure, I could go straight to writing with quill and ink and just watch the ideas flow but the numbers of spills would take a toll on everything around me and including me. Though I must say that India ink is fascinating material. I’ve used it on furniture products to produce some deep black otherwise unachievable.
So anyway, I need to go buy some nice pens, having lost the last decent one I had. I don’t use the word “need” lightly. I absolutely need a good pen. It’s essential to have the right tool for the job.
I think this is true for any task or job or pursuit. What the right tool even for the same task might be different for you than for me. The trick I suppose is to try many different tools so that you know the options. A little trial and error can go a long way. And as you improve in your task or pursuit the tool might change. And that’s good.
Of course I had to extend the metaphor a little more to creative expression as a whole. So just while it might take some trial and error to find the right tool for the task, so just it might take some trial and error to find the write medium for your message. Finding the medium that lets your expression flow freely, just as the ink flow from my pen, should be an exploration as well.
So what’s the point? The point is maybe that if you are struggling to express your creativity in your current medium, you might explore different tools or skills within that medium, or you might explore different mediums, perhaps very related or not related at all.
Which is not to say if your struggling you should give up, because expression will always have some struggle. What it does say though is that exploring other options can open doors to new mediums or can shed new light on the current medium. Both desirable outcomes.
So I’m going to buy a new pen. And maybe I’ll try a pen I’ve never used before. How audacious. Oh, the places we will go.