I've always loved pens. I used to keep a journal, and aside from its value as an aid to reflection, the physical act of writing in it gave me pleasure. Many people are passionately attached to fountain pens; they're particular about nibs, ink, and paper. But I love all pens, even the cheap ones. At conferences I go for the free ballpoints; I don't care about the tote bags.
When I got serious about being a writer, I developed the same sensory fondness for my typewriter. I've read comments by writers who say they need to start out with longhand drafts in order to feel the connection between their ideas and the sentences they produce. I felt that connection on the typewriter, as a flow of energy from my gut through my hands striking the keys onto the paper. Organic. When I had to switch to a computer, I worried I'd lose that feeling because the keyboard was so different. But all it took was getting as proficient at word processing as I'd been at typing. By now I enjoy the physical sensation of keyboarding as much as writing longhand and typewriting.
Typing is only pleasurable, though, when it produces sentences. I don't get any enjoyment from filling out an Excel spreadsheet. But I do get it even from writing a report for a nonprofit, a training manual for a body therapist, or a newsletter article.
Best of all is writing a book-even if it's someone else's-because that introduces another factor-the pleasure of fitting together the pieces of a puzzle. More on that in next entry.
Causes Stephanie Golden Supports
Insight Meditation Society, Barre, MA
Brooklyn for Peace
New York Insight Meditation Center
Coalition for the Homeless