I don’t like writing directly onto the computer. This is mostly because my computer is full of so many wonderful distractions that I have to be in the exact right frame of mind before I can do it. Often this comes when I have a time limit – “I’m going out in an hour, so I can do a quick bit of writing before that.” If I have all day, I’ll watch bad (or good) American TV over the internet, and play games.
I tend to put a lot of effort into buying a nice notebook, one I think I’ll use. Sometimes I go through it and meticulously number the pages, so if I leave a subject and weeks later I have more ideas on it, I can write “continued on page 48” in my own notebook. One of my last ones had a contents page to try and bring order to disorder. A section could be “comedy ideas – 7-9, 23, 74” for the pages where I decided I was being funny.
But while I don’t seem to put much effort into finding the right pen, using a pen that just slides across the page, or even makes forming the letters clearer and more stylish – this makes me write more. The last time I came to Japan, I had these beautiful black artist pens. I was teaching English on a campus that also taught architecture, and that’s a subject for pen-lovers. My pens had two different nibs, one at either end. One for thick dark strokes, the other for finesse. I loved them, and I wrote a lot of notes.
Trouble is, you never know if the pen’s going to be good until you’ve started writing with it. As a gaijin (foreigner) in Japan, everything is trial and error – what does that taste like, does this path take me to the right train line, does this bar charge extortionate table charges? A lot of this is fun, and it’s definitely part of the spirit of adventure. Clearly, I need to go to a store, buy a whole load of pens, and then give the ones I don’t like to the other English teachers on my campus.
Related to pens and ink, here’s an old poem that’s knocked around for a bit. I know that a few of you readers are not big poetry critics, but I’d still appreciate any help on this, as parts of it feel way off what they can be: