Long term ink writing, that’s what I’ve come to call my process of writing my novels by hand. You can hate the term or adopt it, but there’s a few things you should understand about the implement I choose to write with.
As a much younger person I wrote with pencil. It was easy to see, convenient for erasing, but I soon dropped that habit because of the pencil’s constant need for sharpening or if I was using a mechanical pencil, the stick’s constant hunger for more lead.
Also, the graphite would smudge or fade from the numerous re-reads of one page. The cons of using pencil for my long-term ink writing severely out weighted the good. Then without much thought or definite decision I found myself using a pen.
Pens, if you can keep track of them, require less maintenance than the wooden pencil and use far less marking supply than a mechanical pencil. I’ve come to develop a pen problem. Because I write so diligently by hand, I have contracted a need for pens to be around at all times. But it’s not just the need from them in every room, but anytime I’m in a store I somehow gravitate down the office supply isle and buy a pack or two. Yes, I’ll admit it, I’m a pen hoarder! My favorite pen to use is the Pilot G-2 07 series for many reasons. Weight, boldness of ink, life expectancy on a long flight, and ink distribution, which is just me trying to say the on pen will last a long time. My other favorites are the Sharpie Pens (Fine Point), and… nope, those are really the only two I prefer to write with. However, somehow, I have more of the black, plastic PaperMate pens than I do of my beloved pens. I don’t understand how it happened, but they are everywhere! I guess you’ve noticed I don’t like PaperMate, you’d be correct. To me, those pens seem like they didn’t try hard enough in their lot in life and the result shows it.
Anyway my goal here is to tell you about an anti climactic moment that involved… A PEN. They weren’t just any pens though, at least I had expected them not to be just any pen. As I’m sure you can imagine, that when writing with pen and you make a mistake there’s not much you can do but strike through the word a couple of time or like I do, box and color in the word completely. I make many, many mistakes while writing by hand and I wondered how much longer my pens would last if I didn’t have to waste so much of their precious life blood to block out my written mistakes? Should I revert to using pencil once more? Oh no, no, no, no, no. That wasn’t an option. So how did I find a solution to my problem… well, Amazon of course.
I know that there are erasable pens out there in the world, so I searched them on Amazon. Amazon never disappoints because I found a set of three: black, blue, and red, erasable pens made by, wait for it… Pilot. They were reasonably priced and so I bought them up after making sure the reviews weren’t trashing the pens and patiently waited for my delivery.
I ordered the Pilot FriXion Ball Clicker 07 erasable pens. I was so excited to receive the pens that I started writing with them right away, but encountered problems within the first hour. However, I do have to say that I dismissed most of those because I was too excited to have my pens.
Now, for many I’m sure these pens will work just fine, but when it comes to using the FriXion black ink for my long term ink writing, the erasable pen did not hold up at all. I was highly disappointed because like I said, Pilot is my favorite brand.
The weight of the pends were non existent. I don’t know why the weight is such an important element of a pen for me, but it’s the first thing I notice when I pick up a pen. Have you ever shaken someone’s hand and they give you a limp “princess” shake and once you let go you feel as if the handshake was unsatisfying and weird? Yes, well that’s what it feels like for me when I pick up a pen that’s clunky, too light, or too heavy. The FriXion pens didn’t measure up.
My other chief complaint is that the ink is dull and blotchy. If I wanted to write in a grey water color I would have just gone to the kids toy section and picked up one of those paint pallets with the cheap paint brush. I’m seriously not lying! The ink in the FriXion erasable pens is very hard to see.
Now about the blotchy comment I made earlier. When writing the ink skips… often! Every other letter seems to have many holes in it. As you can imagine the combination of dull, washed out color, mixed with skips in the lettering made my story hard to read… and I wrote it! As for the blue and red FriXion erasable pens that came in the set of three still have a chance of getting used. I’m a ways yet, but I believe that when I start my editing process the erasable colored pens will come in handy.
The only good thing I have to say about the pen is that the erasing quality worked as promised. If you had been thinking of buying this product please consider my experience and if you know of a different erasable pen that you have found to work well please let me know.
In other news I will be continuing my layout of how I plan and outline my novels with, “Planning That Novel: Part 2” to be posted… soon. If you missed “Planning That Novel: Part One” find the article here https://fountainpenhandwriting.wordpress.com/2014/05/28/planning-that-novel-part-one/ . And if that doesn’t work because I haven’t quite figured out how to add a hyperlink, simply go back to the previous post.
Other Pilot Pens I love and use Regularly!