Ink & Imagination: Celebrating Ballpoint Pens With Words and Wonder

One of the finest utensil for writers everywhere to expand their creativity was the Ballpoint pen. Read on to discover more of how we can put it to good use!

Book Culture On This Day On Writing
A hand writing with a ballpoint pen as the sun seeps through the room.

On June 10, 1943, one of the finest materials for authors and writers everywhere was created. An ink-filled Ballpoint pen was crafted by Ladislao Biro, or rather the Biro brothers. We are here, gathered today to celebrate its journey to us. And what other way is there to celebrate than to use your pen for art? What if we challenged ourselves to go back in time and write our first drafts of our projects in purely ballpoint pen? What if we feel the crisp pages under our fingertips and write a story with our own hands? What if we used this creation for its purpose?

For Ballpoint Pen Day, I challenge you to do one simple thing: Write. Write with only a ballpoint pen and a piece of paper.

Get Connected

Writing with a pen connects us to the page. It’s strange how, when we write, we feel the words, we make every word hold meaning. Each word finds its home within the gaps.

As I type this article on a blue screen, I feel myself detaching from the words, and I have to force my mind to focus on each one. I want my words to matter and make a permanent mark. When you write by hand, each word is shaped by your fingers, connecting you to that word, that page, that pen.

A man holding a lightbulb, lighting up with an idea.

The Escape of Mundane

Neil Gaiman, a famous author (I’m sure you know), writes all his first drafts on paper. He sits and only has his pen and paper, only able to write with two utensils. Why? Did he do it because he is insane and wants to die with boredom? Possibly. However, he is only allowed to do nothing other than sit there and write or not write. He gives himself permission to not write… but he also doesn’t give himself permission to do anything but write.

A girl hugging herself as she stares out at the world.

He can sit and look at the world. He can take in the breeze, stare at the sky, and watch the people in the park. He can observe and perceive. Or he can write with his pen and paper. Strange… but it’s when we are so bored that we become creative masterminds. We wonder. And when we wonder, and we are holding a pen, the world becomes more interesting. We cannot escape our world in its boredom, so we escape through our minds.

A man writing on a piece of paper, enjoying his coffee as he writes.

Pens Are Keys

Switching from the computer to paper for writing my first drafts had changed the game. When I grabbed a ballpoint pen and used it for its intended use, I discovered why the pen became so important. It was me and the pen. Me and the paper. Me and my bored mind with endless imagination. And the pen is the key to the world you twist on the paper.

A pen up close on a closing notebook.

I discovered with the pen. I traveled down paths, hiked up mountains, and scavenged things in caves, meadows, and characters. The pen led me to places I never knew existed in that silly world called my head. And the paper had hidden things beneath its blank void. Only the pen could uncover those with its splodges of ink. And then it all made sense.

I cared about every word because I was the maker of the words.

Ballpoint Gets To The Point

Before the ballpoint pen, ink smudged, and writers had to wait for it to dry. The ballpoint revolutionized this process. It allowed for quick writing and fast-drying ink. You didn’t have to wait for the ink to dry before closing the notebook; it dried immediately. Your ideas were not forgotten.

A time lapsed city with cars blurring into red streams of glowing lights on the highway.

When we take our time, write with a ballpoint pen, and appreciate what it truly is, we realize how to let the words matter. This world is so fast-paced with technology, and for the most part, that’s a good thing. Technology is where we can grow too. But sometimes we need to slow down, be bored, and breathe. Because when we breathe in the world, when we slow down and look around, we find meaning in simple things. In a pen. Slim, metallic, with a smudge of ink. And yet, with endless possibilities for your taking. So… take it.

Want to hear more about how Ballpoint pens revolutionized the world? Click here!

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