The quirks of writers are no stranger to the cannons of lore that constitute calling down the muse in the creative quest to get words on the page. Or more simply, when it’s time to turn up at your desk and get some shit done!
From Hemingway, who wrote standing up to Truman Capote who dubbed himself a completely “horizontal author,” claiming he couldn’t think or write unless he was lying down and also had to avoid the number 13 at all costs.
Then there was Victor Hugo who preferred to write in the nude, penning Les Miserables and The Hunchback of Notre Dame in his birthday suit. And let’s not forget Friedrich Schiller who required the smell of rotting apples coming from his desk in order to write. The list goes on and is extremely fascinating.
For more such ruminations on the strange habits of writers, check out Odd Type Writers: From Joyce and Dickens to Wharton and Welty, the Obsessive Habits and Quirky Techniques of Great Authors by Celia Blue Johnson.
In pursuit of the perfect pen
My own writerly weirdness is confined to the grip and scroll of the absolutely perfect pen. Never mind that I do indeed do most of my writing with my laptop perched on my lap, often with a furry creature nearby attempting to wrap herself around some part of my body.
But when I do get stuck, as most certainly happens, I am apt to pull out my yellow legal pad, or maybe my large black, bound artists’ sketchbook I use as a journal, and write longhand in order to break the grip of writer’s block. It is then that the perfect pen really has to be within reach.
To that end, so that any other writers with similar quirks might succeed in finding their pen-mate for life, here are a few pens to consider in your search, ending with my personal favourite. Enjoy!
Top 5 Perfect Pens
- Pilot Precision Grip (US) aka Pilot V7 (UK) This pen feels nice and weighty in your hand, with a solid rubbery grip between your forefingers, though the line is a little too thin for my taste. However, it’s smoked titanium casing will make you look like a writer who is kicking ass and taking names in Starbucks.
- Uniball Vision Micro (US) aka UB 150 Eye Micro (UK): This is a thinner pen to hold but has a slightly thicker line, which I prefer. In the US, it comes in an alluring hue of brushed charcoal, effortlessly making its user look like a “serious” writer.
- Uniball Vision Elite (US) aka Vision Elite UB200 (UK): This pen has a heavier line than the previous two — it’s starting to speak my language. A cloud white casing fades into heavenly silver, finished off by a transparent casing at the finger grip. Refillable. Sexy.
- Pilot G-2 Retractable: This is the jazzy sports car, the black sheep of the bunch, outshining the others with its utilitarian exterior masking a formidable line of just the right rollerball thickness. A close runner up to my all time favorite…
- Uniball Impact 207 (US) aka UM-153S Gel Impact (UK): This bold driven line delivers for me every time. I am transported with each stroke and line as it slides across the page. OK, I’m laying it on a little thick. But really, this is my favorite pen I’ve been using for years. Plus, it’s refillable, so I literally wear out the casings until they are completely spent. But they last a very long time.
BIO: Holly Hudson is an author, screenwriter, and filmmaker who lives in Ohio and London. Her books Grace Steele: Death in the Pine Forest, Tess Bloom, and The Badass Single Mom’s Survival Guide are available on Amazon.