I’ve always been fascinated with the art of writing, which is strange considering I have writer’s cramp. My love began in middle school when I became bored of the standard issue BIC pens my parents bought me. Every week, chewed-up pens filled my pockets and pencil cases, many of which ‘spontaneously exploded’ in my book bag, on my homework, and in my coat (sorry mom).
Pens were my blessing and my curse, and it seems like I was always holding one.
Around 7th grade, I became more interested in what pens do, when I picked up a book on graphology in the public library. In case you aren’t familiar, graphology is the study of handwriting – an art heavily dependent on pens. As I read further down the rabbit hole into ink pens and cursive, my hand became increasingly uncooperative.
By the time I was 14, I could no longer use those BIC pens, and I moved into the comfort grip models. I started investing in $5 pens, ugly therapeutic writing devices that did not fill my need for expression. They looked like the pens my doctor used – not something a 14-year-old girl would hold while scribbling down poems on the back of her notebook.
And so, the collection began.
I began collecting the oddest pens I could find. I had bendy pens, a carrot pen, furry pens, giant pens and smelly pens. I have a pen made from wood and a pen made from metal. I lost pens and bought more pens. It was an obsession that made writing with my increasingly damaged hand more fun.
I discovered the internet at 16 and began typing all of my writings onto a floppy disk. Soon, all of my pens faded away to the background, as did my study of graphology. The keyboard saved me from pain but took me away from my love of handwriting. I mourned my lost hobby but was grateful for the technology that allowed me to keep writing.