Putting Pen to Paper.

27 Jun 2017

It won't surprise most of you to hear that your Monday writer Lex and I are friends off the page, so to speak. We do in fact speak to each other; but mostly – we write. We are both writers, after all.

Yesterday morning Lex posted a video on his timeline about a new tablet which allows you to read (like any tablet) but also to write, using a stylus like a pen or pencil, and to sketch. Apparently, this remarkable tablet will replace all your notebooks and sketchpads with one slimline screen.

As Lex pointed out, you could pay nigh on $500 for one of these nifty little gadgets, or you could just spend a fiver on a beautiful new notebook and a jazzy pencil to go with it.

I don't know about you, but I love the act of writing. I don't mean what I'm doing now, tapping keys on my keyboard and seeing the neat letters appearing in Calibri font, 11 point, on the screen before me; I mean that act of putting pen to paper, of drawing those intricate curves and lines, making up characters that transform into words, which then create meaning.

There is a magic and a sensuality in it. There is the velvety smoothness of the pencil, or fountain pen, as it loops and swirls across the page. There is a ritual and soothing rhythm in writing; watching as mysterious patterns appear on that page, as they convey mystical meaning beyond mere markings, as they transform into pictures inside your mind…

Have you ever sat at midnight, by the light of a candle, writing a love letter to a friend, in purple ink using a quill pen? Have you ever poured out your deepest feelings in that ink, onto the paper?

Even if that letter is never sent (and believe me, many of those letters are better never sent), the act of writing them has been both therapeutic and beneficial.

The therapeutic benefits of pencil and paper do not necessarily employ words. We have all of us come across the colouring books for adults. As children, we lost ourselves for hours just "colouring in". As grown-ups, we can still find solace in the disciplined freedom of colouring in.

I prefer the equally disciplined, but more freeform expression of Zentangle; a formalised version of doodling. Although beautiful pieces of art can be created using these repetitive patterns, the joy is in the meditation of creation. As your hand and pen move across the paper in a ritual dance, your mind is freed, even while remotely tethered to the strokes of the pen.

So, I would urge you: leave the emails and the texts aside for a while. Write that thank you note by hand. Send a handwritten love letter to that special person (and love letters need not be always about romantic love), create some art with your doodles. Pen a little magic into your life.

The purple ink is optional.


A Moodscope member.

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