Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Tools of Authors

For inquiring minds who need to know. I like what Judy Blume, one "of the more famous" authors of children's books said: “Whatever it is that happens between the brain and the pencil in my hand, that’s really important to my process.”

It's not the tool, stupid (as Bill Clinton might say). I am not so sure that what happens between the brain and the pencil is independent of what has been written or is being written. On the other hand, I am fairly sure it does not matter at all whether you use a pencil, a roller ball, a Waterman, a Shaeffer, or a Parker. I am also fairly sure that it matters relatively little whether you use a fountain pen, a typewriter, or a keyboard. The methods you use to take notes or write seem to matter more.

I did say that I collect mechanical pencils and own many pens, did I? In other words I find these objects fascinating, but I feel that just as a good workman does not blame his tools in failure, they do not contribute much to success. Put differently, they allow you to write, but they do not determine whether you write badly or well.

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