3 tips for choosing a writing instrument

While my focus here is primarily on the tools directly related to the fiber arts, I am particular about every tool I use. Several months ago I wrote about my notebooks. Today’s post will explore how I choose what I use to write inside that book.

Choose what you like

Just because all the cool kids are using a certain tool doesn’t mean that using it will make you a rock star or improve your creativity. For example, I do not like a certain brand of fountain pens, though most everyone I know adores them (and it hasn’t stopped me from buying more than one over the years). I find all their nibs too broad for my preference (yes, I could have one customized). It’s difficult when I hear “oh did you see the new one?!” but I know I’m better off saving my money for a tool I prefer.

I prefer different types of pens and pencils based on the work I’m doing. While in general the finer the line the happier I am, that is not true when I’m scribbling a draft. In that case, I like bolder and blunter tipped markers that don’t let me draw or write too detailed. They are smooth on a range of surfaces to help me get the ideas out and move on. Editing comes later and is when the micro tips appear.

Get extra refills

It’s difficult for me to find a local brick and mortar shop that sells stationary, let alone one that sells my preferred pens and pencils or refills. There’s few things that are more frustrating than wanting to write with your favourite multi-pen and realizing you are completely out of ink.

When I’m at a shop that sells them, or placing an online order, I stock up.

Details matter

While I am consistent in my use of black or grey inks as my primary colour choices for pens, not all inks are equal. One feature that is important to me is ink that won’t smear and I can watercolour over it without it completely washing away.

Rhodia Goalbook, a multi pen, cup of coffee, at the Galleria in Cleveland, OH


I hope these tips help you when faced with the overwhelming choice of pens, pencils, markers, and erasers!

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