For today’s tech talk I’m going old school, with an emphasis on school. I know they’re not flashy or very exciting, and yet, I’ve found myself going more and more to pencils. I still type my stories on my computer. I use Scrivener for that. However, I find if I leave a sketchbook and pencil on my desk, I’ll pause, doodle, and that helps to get the brain in gear so the creativity flows.
I think pencils open up something inside. They connect us to our inner child, to that time when we did all our work in pencils. I have pens galore. Buckets and boxes of them. I’ll probably never use them all, and I use pens to write the grocery list, jot down notes when I’m on a call at the job, or just things I want to remember. Pens seem utilitarian for that purpose. They’re invisible. The writing tool that everyone has, everyone loves to pick up at conferences, and simply have around. If you don’t have two or three pens in your purse, then what are you carrying a purse for?
There’s something visceral about putting the pencil in the sharpener and watching the shavings come off to give it a good point. A crisp pencil with a new point writes smoothly, gliding across the paper as if they were meant for one another. It taps into a time when anything was possible and your dreams reached the stars.
Today’s tech talk may be a meditation on the pencil, but also, I think, it’s an encouragement to look outside your safe zones. It encourages you to see things in a different light. Look at something completely ordinary and see it with new eyes. How can it help your creativity? How can it enhance your writing experience?
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