New Pen Drama

Reading the title of this post may make you think I’m a lunatic with no life. You’re wrong. I most definitely have a life. It’s just that I’m a writer.

If you get a group of writers in any room, dollars to donuts the conversation will turn to writing utensils at any moment. It’s in our blood. Chefs have their knives. Hunters have their guns. Writers have their pens. That’s not to say that the quickest way to a writer’s heart with a handful of pens. However, any writer you know has a pen preference. Just go ahead and ask a writer about their favorite pens. I’ll wait here.

Back yet?

Believe me?

Told ya.

So recently I’ve been on the lookout for a new favorite pen. I’ve been using a brand of ink ones that can get pretty messy if the top comes off in my bag. Also, I’d been using those for at least 10 years. I wanted to check other options.

Then I saw this commercial:

First thoughts? Cute but yeah right.

Then I bought them on a whim one day.


Me and My New Pen

I couldn’t stop telling people about it. Suddenly, I wanted to write everything in my trusty notebook instead of using my laptop or my phone or my tablet. For a period of time, I would pull one of these pens out of my purse to start conversations with anyone who would let me.

Within weeks I had all of my friends buying them–That’s how good of a salesperson I can be when I really want to be. I will call you up at 9pm at night to ask you if you’re getting your pen needs met properly and if you would like to hear about a nifty little pen that will solve your problems. Also, are you happy with your long distance carrier? Have you accepted anybody as your Lord and Savior? Because this pen could work for any one of those things.

Gone Pen Gone

And then something strange happened. I was at my paper route–where I had already spread the gospel of this pen–when I noticed my pen was gone. Someone had stolen it. Just like the commercial. (Only I hadn’t been so smart as to set up a trap! Damn my trusting ways!) Of course the normal thing would be to just pull out the other pen that came in the pack and forget about the other one. I mean, it had only cost me a dollar and some change. Easily replaceable.

Oh come on. You know I didn’t do that.

Instead I stopped and frisked every single person I worked with. (Note: Stopping minorities on the street to search them randomly for no reason is bad. Stopping your coworkers to search for a pen that didn’t even cost you $2 is very necessary.) They thought I was joking but soon realized that I am crazy serious about my pens. (Or just crazy. Either one.) I frisked four people without incident. When I got to the fifth, I found my pen.

When I asked her what the hell she was doing with my pen, she just shrugged and said “You think you can go around with a pen that great and not tempt people.”

She was right. I keep my pen talk to myself now.

What about you guys? Do you have a special brand of pens or paper or whatever that you just have to have? Tell me about it in the comments section below:

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Princess Jones

Princess Jones is the mad scientist behind Diary of a Mad Freelancer. For more talk about freelancing, writing, and selling yourself for a living, follow her on Twitter.

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  1. My favorite right now (since I clearly haven’t tried this amazing pen you speak of) are the Sharpie Fine Point retractables. They even make my handwriting look nicer than it really is.

    Also, can we talk about non-favorite pens? As in, when I moved last week I filled up a gallon-sized Ziplock bag with pens that I found lying around the house, all still full of ink, but I haven’t used because they clearly didn’t make the cut. Why can’t I force myself to just through them out already?
    Natalia Sylvester recently posted..The Story Behind the Kidnapping Story

    • I saw those on TV but never checked them out. I’m putting them on my list.

      Natalia, my husband hates me because every time I find a pen I wouldn’t write with in the house I throw it away. Then the ones I would write with, I hoard in my office and prevent him from using them. Basically, I don’t want him to write anything, ever.

  2. Hey Lady,

    After reading through your review I popped into OfficeMax today and they had these pens on sale so I gave them a try.

    Final verdict: I like them, but I’m not quite as in love with them as you are.

    That said, I’m definitely a pen geek and even like different pens for different types of paper (i don’t think it gets more OCD than that). But don’t stop at the pen collection. I’m also snobby about: types of paper, calendars, push pins, paper clips, and any other office supply it’s possible to buy.
    Melissa recently posted..Getting Your Customers to Take Your Advice

    • Melissa, the first time I met you, in the restaurant you pulled out a discontinued pen that you had been searching for because the manufacturer wouldn’t sell them anymore. It made me like you.

  3. I loved this post. My favorite brand is Pentel RSVP, and my family steals them. For years, I had little “Mom” labels on not just good pens, but the scotch tape dispenser, the stapler, and all scissors. The labels did no good. Maybe the InkJoy booby trap would work. However, despite all the great pens out there, there is still nothing better than a perfectly sharpened wood pencil. I still love pencils. Unfortunately, they are really hard to carry around, so I have to enjoy them at my desk.

    And thinking about paper, I’m reminded about how years ago, my boss noticed my seeming reluctance to use staples – I always seemed to use paper clips. She decided it was out of “reverence” for paper and not wanting to mar its surface. I was flattered but the truth was that I just hated having to remove staples at the copier.
    Claire Wagner recently posted..Politics and social media

    • Oh I had a small love affair with the RSVPs in high school. They may even have been my first favorite pens. And when I was younger, my mom used to put her name on her pens, too! I think I may have gotten my pen hoarding from her.

  4. Love this post! So true, so true. Right now, I prefer Pilot Precise V5, Extra Fine (any color). I love the way the ink flows across the paper without skipping. Smooth, fine, precise lines so I can just keep on writing without having to redraw over any of my characters.

    As for pen theft, I keep “shareable” pens (ones about which I don’t care) in a pen holder that people can draw from if they need. The ones I love and will forcibly reclaim if taken I hide in a perfectly-sized Twix tin. Easy reach for me, out of sight from them. So far, no theft has occurred.
    Erica recently posted..Choose Your Audience Before You Choose a Client

    • Decoy pens! That is so simple. Why didn’t I think of it?!

  5. I just looooove the Pilot Precise fine point pens. You can’t always find them, so whenever I see them, I buy a package–meaning that I have quite a stockpile. My kids take the black ones for drawing, but that’s OK as long as they leave the blues and purples alone.

    I got hooked on them at my last office job, when we used to still edit on paper (!). The editors all liked the fine points, but then our secretary found them in purple and we fell in love. Other departments quickly learned that if they filched our purple pens, the punishment would be quick and severe.
    Julie Nilson recently posted..Summer reading list!

    • Those used to be my favorite pens, Julie, so I know exactly what you’re talking about. Never tried purple though. That would be a big help in keeping it from being stolen. I could just say “Hey! I know you have my pen because it’s purple!”

  6. I absolutely loved this post. I used to address submissions with a Cross pen I got from my Dad, and I still use certain pens for certain tasks. I think before the year is out, I’ll have to buy a special pen.

    • I know you had a special relationship with your dad, Mahesh, and it’s great that your submission ritual had a piece of him in it. My dad made me a jewelry box many years ago. It has gotten broken more times than I can count in my many moves. Each time I pull out the super glue and fix it up. It’s just too special to let go.

  7. This makes me feel sad. I think I need such a pen. Well, I can add that to the holiday wish list.


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