This I Believe: The Power of the Pen

I believe in the power of a good pen. In school, especially in elementary and preschool, kids are conditioned to use pencils. Pencils are good. Pencils can erase. “Alright children, take out your pencils.” I understand that when you are young, learning how to write, a pencil is the most beneficial writing utensil because you can erase when you make mistakes and as a young learning child you make many. But there is value in using a pen. I am a frequent writer. Almost every day I will sit down and write and when I do, I use a pen.

When you write in pen there’s something about it that’s really raw and natural. You can let your writing flow. You say what you mean. When you speak, there is no eraser to take back what you said. Once you say something, it’s out there. Pens are the same way. There’s no way to go back and fix what you wrote, so what you say in pen, in the heat of a moment, is pure feeling. A person’s first thought or first instinct is always the truest at the time they were feeling or thinking it. That is what I love to capture when writing. Honest emotion. No editing necessary.

Of course there is value in the editing process. Everyone always says you’re first draft of an essay or a letter you’re sending to someone is always the crappiest. I can’t help but agree with that. I know I’ve written some really bad first drafts, heck this essay had more than one rough draft, but the emotion is still there.

From my very first draft of this essay the passion about saying what you mean, and keeping that in your writing, has been there. When I sat down to write this I wrote down everything I truly believed about writing; everything I liked about writing. No matter how many times I edit this I will always go back to those first thoughts. They will not be edited or changed. I wrote them down initially for a reason and I believe in that reason. I write in pen, because there is no better way to catch raw emotion and thought, in the moment, than to write it all down with no way to turn back and erase what was already said.

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