Pen to Paper

by thomas Wilkie

I was struggling with my own writing, and in an effort to move forward, I decided to take a step back. So instead of typing, I picked up an old-fashioned pen and a notebook, and started writing.

This is what I wrote.

(If you want to try an decipher my original handwritten version,
scroll to the bottom for images from my notebook)

It feels so much more vulnerable now.

Because now this seems real. The thoughts in my head taking on a physical form.

While digitally, they are visible, they are not tangible. They have no worldly form on their own in there. In that world of ones and zeros.

They cannot stand on their own as they do now on the page.

As soon as the ink leaves the tip of this pen, these thoughts exist in the world.

And it is because of the thoughts' physicalness that they feel so vulnerable.

I was going to write, but immediately became uncomfortable because I had become so accustomed to using a digital medium to capture my thoughts.

There is something about the supposed permanence of pen to paper that makes me hesitate.

How honest do I want to be?

It's not like I write anything with the intention to show anyone, but I also don't write with the intention to hide it.

I write hoping I write something good enough to share, but all I deem unworthy is all there, still capable of being shared.

And while it may be harder to share pen and paper, it's also harder to hide.

There's no backspace, there is no easy delete. To cover up the traces of my work would take serious work, real action.

And there's no denying anything I wrote with my own hand because there's too much evidence to say otherwise.

While anything typed still allows for the possibility of legitimate forgery.

But for my trepidation, there's also something therapeutic putting this pen to paper because it feels like I'm going back.

Going back to my roots, returning to how I started.

Thinking efficiency would lead me to quantity, and through quantity achieve some level of quality.

As I choose each word, I must do so more carefully, but I also have to live with my linguistic decisions (for now) because they cannot be easily changed.

This page creates a structure. It focuses my thoughts for while the possibilities are limitless, my space is not.

I am forced to come to face to face with my thoughts, and see how they look, knowing that they will forever exist in this form.

Handwritten Pen to Paper
Handwritten Pen to Paper

Share this Post

Check out some of our other articles

Collaborative Writing 101
November 11, 2019

Collaborative Writing 101

Collaborative Writing 101 What is it and why do it? What is collaborative writing? While some say that all writing is collaborative (Speck, 2002), we want to be a little more specific (we think that’s more ... Read More

Cooperation v Collaboration
September 10, 2019

Cooperation vs Collaboration

Cooperation vs Collaboration OPPOSING IDEAS OR TWO SIDES OF THE SAME COIN? “Working together well doesn't come naturally. It's something we learn how to do.”  When researching for this article this line from Kenneth A. Bruffee’s ... Read...