As bright-eyed young students, we learn that pencils are our prime tool for drafting while pens are primarily for editing. Though, for the sake of shaking up the creative process, perhaps it’s time to break out of these associations and dauntlessly put pen to paper.
Still feeling hesitant? Here are some benefits to opening up your notebooks and making the switch.
Trust Your Instinct
Creative writing is always easier said than done. Sometimes inspiration strikes but the idea or emotion feels trapped in your brain no matter what you do. It’s easy to get disheartened and second guess yourself until it stops you and your creativity in its tracks.
The beauty of using pen on paper is that it recommits us to the writing craft. In other words, by honing in specifically on the act of creativity, we can more efficiently channel our thoughts and let words flow freely. Not to mention, using a pen instead of a pencil can make you more bold in your writing endeavors. Though it may seem scary to ditch the safeguard of the eraser, a pen can remind you to trust your mind’s instinct and write whatever feels right. You may even surprise yourself!
Challenge Your Mind
Staring at the blank page is different than staring at an empty document with a flashing, expectant cursor. Though the modern world is well-accustomed to having everything digitized, our creative mind can benefit immensely from a break or a change of pace in the writing process. Picking up a pen helps us to really slow down and focus on the act of writing in a new and more concentrated way.
These days, we all could use some added break time away from our screens. By changing up our routine and stepping away from electronics (however briefly), we can make room for more creative inspiration. That said, it can be frustrating to make oneself work at a slower pace – especially if you’re used to knocking out essays and assignments for quickly approaching deadlines. Busting out pen and paper can serve as a challenge to the busy mind and a great way to push yourself as a creative writer.
Find Freedom and Connection
Creative writing is an extension of oneself. By deeply connecting to the words we write, we ensure that future readers will be connected as well. Writing in pen helps us do just that, as it is much more personal than tapping away at a keyboard. It requires more of our mind’s attention and awareness. This enhanced connection provided by pen and paper can better engage our thoughts and emotions, creating powerful fuel for our creativity.
With pen in hand, there is a stronger incentive to shake the mind loose and write as personally and authentically as possible. Think of creative writing as an exploration of your mind. It is not about perfectionism, so don’t worry about maintaining flawless grammar, punctuation, or spelling. Just allow yourself to be playful and embrace freedom of thought.
A Starting Point
On the whole, writing in pen allows us to use the creative mind in a more direct and impactful way. It’s a great starting point for your brainstorming or drafting process and, most importantly, it reminds us of our creative power and the power of our words.
So if you find yourself in a frustrating bout of writer’s block, grab your favorite pen, find a comfy spot, and let your creative mind take over. It’s a perfect way to celebrate National Ball Point Pen Day as well as a tried and true tactic for creative expression to benefit from year-round!
Looking for more outlets of inspiration and connection to fuel your creative writing endeavors? Check out our list of great writing communities here.