I still begin all of my writing longhand. I progress it on the computer but there’s nothing like the flow of thought and pure pleasure writing on paper as the pen scratches across the vellum. What a lovely word vellum is, just need to dip my quill pen in the quink!
I have some gorgeous pens, kept in a beautiful presentation box and I rarely ever use them to write. They are too heavy and I can’t keep the flow of words going so well. I enjoy writing in red pens, purple, pink – anything but blue. I often wonder whether it’s because black and blue ink is too much a reminder of school and having to do stuff you don’t like ? I love seeing pages and pages of red pen. It feels a bit ‘naughty’.
I’ve just bought a box of Sharpie Pens as a treat.
I was working with a client the other day and she writes in red pen too, that or pencil. We started chatting and reflected whether it was too do with school and ‘Teacher’s red pen’. She writes in pencil and rubs out as she goes along which keeps it all neat but far too slow for me – I just scribble it out and go on, knowing I can tidy it all up later. Are we by writing in red pen becoming defiant and taking charge of our writing?
Is the red symbolic and wrapped up in so much past stuff of school?
When I was doing my teaching course for Lifelong Learning we were asked not to correct work in red ink as it had too many connotations from past school experiences for some people. We were encouraged to make suggestions in pencil so they could be rubbed out. It begged the question of how long it would be before the sight of pencil on your work would have the same effect and we would have to use green ink.
There are a lot of superstitions and theories about the colour of ink. I always remember a teacher telling me that it was bad etiquette to write in green ink. Well, a quick google of that came up will all sorts of meanings. And there was I thinking it was something to do with Enid Blyton and the Secret Seven.
I like using an array of colours, especially when I’m working out ideas or planing – and mind maps positively encourage the use of colour.
I find it sad to think that our school experiences stay with us for so long. One class I was teaching was held in the school one of my older students had attended years ago. She relived all those horrible unhappy memories each time she walked down the corridor.
Take charge of your life and your writing. Those days are far far behind you, best to leave them there. You are the captian of your ship, master of your destiny. Where do you want to go today?
They’re still trying to get in.