The Posh Pen Paradox: when writers and artists fear their tools

The Posh Pen Paradox: when writers and artists fear their tools

Money plays into this fear, with the idea that you should only invest expensive materials in to a piece of work that will turn out to be a worthwhile investment, and as mere students we think: Why bother?

I wonder if it is for many of the same reasons mentioned in this article that cheap wins the day for many established authors. Also, as this article alludes, many famous artists such a Leonardo da Vinci rarely used new canvases for their most famous works. Instead, they often painted over existing work they weren’t satisfied with.

Some things to think about If you are having trouble with the fear of starting. Try grabbing a cheap ballpoint and half-used spiral bound notebook you have laying about and just make a mess. You may be surprised on how well it works.

(via Mark Lovely)

The Beginner’s Guide to Mechanical Pencils | JetPens

The Beginner’s Guide to Mechanical Pencils | JetPens

A new guide from JetPens. In-depth and useful. Also, I’d never really thought about it, but apparently mechanical pencils predate wooden pencils.

The 25 Essential Tools of Excellence (v2), 3: The Back of An Envelope – Nicholas Bate

The 25 Essential Tools of Excellence (v2), 3: The Back of An Envelope – Nicholas Bate

Sometimes an idea is bubbling. A plan, a product, a solution, a breakthrough. You need somewhere to articulate and develop that seed of an idea. That’s when you grab the back of an envelope from the small stack on the corner of your desk.

Our friend in the UK, the incomparable Nicholas Bate, would like us to consider the back of the envelope as an essential tool.

This morning. Planning The Work. (I’m loving my new kick-ass Field Notes cover from One Star Leather Goods.)

For Two Months, I Got My News from Print Newpapers. Here’s What I Learned

For Two Months, I Got My News from Print Newpapers. Here’s What I Learned — The New York Times

In January, after the breaking-newsiest year in recent memory, I decided to travel back in time. I turned off my digital news notifications, unplugged from Twitter and other social networks, and subscribed to home delivery of three print newspapers — The Times, The Wall Street Journal and my local paper, The San Francisco Chronicle — plus a weekly newsmagazine, The Economist.

This piece isn’t necessarily a praise of paper so much as it is a praise of slow, deliberate news consumption. But what’s a great way to make  consumption (and creation, for that matter) more slow, careful, and deliberate?

Paper.

I read paper books almost exclusively. I read most of my news online, but every week I settle in with a print copy of the New Yorker, and I love to pick up a print copy of the New York Times when I’m at my local coffee shop. And, interesting tidbit: for the magazine of which I’m managing editor, print subscriptions outnumber digital about three to one.

Oldest message in a bottle found on Western Australia beach – BBC News

Oldest message in a bottle found on Western Australia beach – BBC News

The note in the bottle, which was dated 12 June 1886, was jettisoned from the German ship Paula, as part of an experiment into ocean and shipping routes by the German Naval Observatory.

If you want to send a message that lasts, use paper.

The Grocery List Sketched by Michelangelo — Atlas Obscura

The Grocery List Sketched by Michelangelo — Atlas Obscura

The survival of this list is remarkable, too. Only around 600 of Michelangelo’s sketches still exist. 1518 marked the year that Michelangelo burned many of his early drawings, and 46 years later, he ordered many of his papers to be torched in anticipation of his death.

In case you were looking for some notebook inspiration today.

Old School Drafting Tool: Watch This Incredible 1920s Gadget That Lets You Draw Perfect Dotted Lines By Hand – Core77

Old School Drafting Tool: Watch This Incredible 1920s Gadget That Lets You Draw Perfect Dotted Lines By Hand – Core77

In the 1920s German manufacturer Eugene Dietzgen Co. designed and produced this brilliant drawing tool, the 932S Excello, for draftsmen.

Check out the video in the post for an explanation and example of how it works. Really cool. (via David Nunez)

J.D. Roth, Get Rich Slowly | Cool Tools

J.D. Roth, Get Rich Slowly | Cool Tools

“I am a writer, and I do most of my writing on a computer like most writers do nowadays, and that’s not very exciting. Everyone has their favorite computers. But I also do a surprising amount of writing by hand, and I have my own favorite cheap notebooks. I use a couple of the models from a company called National Brand, and basically there’s this legal supply store here in Portland, and I go down there and I stock up on these notebooks. They’re a little more expensive than Mead spiral notebooks, but they’re also a heavier quality paper. And then I buy Dixon Ticonderoga pencil and BIC Cristal ballpoint pens. I buy them by the case from Amazon. … So those are kind of unsexy tools, but they’re very much tools that I use every day.”

J.D. Roth sings the praises of cheap in a recent Cool Tools podcast.

Children struggle to hold pencils due to too much tech, doctors say | Society | The Guardian

Children struggle to hold pencils due to too much tech, doctors say | Society | The Guardian

“Children are not coming into school with the hand strength and dexterity they had 10 years ago,” said Sally Payne, the head paediatric occupational therapist at the Heart of England foundation NHS Trust. “Children coming into school are being given a pencil but are increasingly not be able to hold it because they don’t have the fundamental movement skills.”

Tragic.