Putting Pen to Paper

There’s something in the ebb and flow of the ink on the paper, the way the flick of my wrist or the grip of my fingers around the pen shaping the words on the page that is almost magical. There before me the words that dance through my head come flowing out with the ink from my pen onto the pages of my beloved Moleskin journal.

I often struggle with where to start, or how to organize my thoughts, when I’m sitting in front of a computer; my fingers resting tentatively on the keys, wanting to start flying away, but unsure of what really to say.

Putting my words in ink, on paper, with my very own hand, seems to give those words living, breathing soul; soul that doesn’t seem to exist in the same form when words are born on a keyboard.

There is something about the way my pen dances across the page that gives life the words, the thoughts, the ideas that dance through my head.

And there, on the page, my words will live on, in some form, forever. They will live in my journal that goes with my everywhere, until it’s pages are full and they move to a shelf where they may never be read again. Or perhaps someone years down the road may stumble on my humble words and they will be discovered again. Regardless, they are there, in a physical state, indefinitely.

They can’t be deleted, or cut or cropped or lost in a hard drive crash. Even fire couldn’t completely destroy them; they would live on as bits of ash caught in the wind.

And then, there is so much more to be read from what I’ve written than just the words themselves. Oh no, the story doesn’t end with “the end.” My letters themselves surely tells a deeper story.

Are they luxuriously constructed, casually relaxed in the story I’m telling? Are the letters incomplete and hurried? Are they are small and tight and precisely formed, so as not to have an “i” or “t” out of place. Or perhaps my point was of extreme importance and my passion for the subject can be sensed in a heavier-than-normal hand.

Have I written in carefully crafted paragraphs, or haphazardly interjected blank lines?

Do the words peeking out from under a strike through tell of a deeper story I abandoned, or a path I decided not to venture down, or a fleeting thought that flitted away before it could be wholly formed?

By putting pen to paper, seeing the paper absorb the ink, something beyond just words and thoughts and letters happens to me. My soul breaths. My heart weeps. My lips rejoice. My thoughts become cohesive. When I write, I create—something that has never existed in quite the same way, and can never be recreated quite the same way. The words are my own, formed by my hand, and never to be wiped away. It’s a piece of me that will live on forever. Putting pen to paper.


  1. mlh

    This is beautiful. I feel the same way. In the same vein, this is why I don’t think paper books will ever go away. There is too much feeling associated with paper, it’s feel, it’s smell. I love this post.

  2. abbey

    love this post! you are such a talented writer and your posts always make me smile. :)

  3. Leslie B.

    This is beautiful. Poetic. You are so gifted, Miss Kate. I adore the photo of your journal. I would recognize that handwriting anywhere…

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