Many people who collect fountain pens sometimes have trouble using them as often as they would like. If you are not a student or in a profession that requires you to write very often, you might struggle to use your pens at all! In this series of articles I want to make some suggestions that should help you use your fountain pens more often.
Write In A Stream Of Consciousness Style
Stream of consciousness is a great writing style if you don’t know what to write. At its core, you are simply writing words and thoughts as they pop into your head. The way that it is different from regular writing is that you don’t stop writing. When you don’t know what to write, you stall, maybe even by writing “I don’t know what to write”. While the end result might not make much sense, it is a great way to quickly fill up a page and use your fountain pens.
The term “stream of consciousness” was originally coined in the late 1800s by William James, when he said
“…it is nothing joined; it flows. A ‘river’ or a ‘stream’ is the metaphors by which it is most naturally described. In talking of it hereafter, let’s call it the stream of thought, consciousness, or subjective life.”
Stream of consciousness typically refers to a specific literary writing style, but has also been adopted to refer to a style of writing where you keep writing, like in the above example. It’s harder than you might think, especially if you don’t want to be repetitive in the way that you stall. It is fun to practice and see what happens!
Write Individual Words
Sometimes I don’t feel like writing what’s passing through my mind. When that happens, I just write individual words. I find that this is a great exercise in both listening and in writing. If my wife is watching a movie or I’m listening to music, I’ll write words that I catch in the background. For example, one night we were listening to a podcast and this is a selection of random words I wrote down: Intention. Barrista (misspelled it when I wrote it). Universe. Noise. Campaign. Arbor Day.Other times I write random words that come to mind, but in alphabetical order. I typically try to think of longer words to write, so I get more practice. Going alphabetically also ensures that I write each capital letter at least once. On one occasion, I started out with these words: Albatross. Beautiful. Courageous (misspelled it when I wrote it). Demented. Everything. Flatulent. Gregarious. Humongous… and continued until I got to Zoetrope. Hopefully this helps the next time you want to write something but don’t know what to write. Just put pen to paper and let the thoughts and words flow. Or, listen to what’s happening around you and write random words. You might be surprised at the variety of words you write down and, when you look back at them in the future, will wonder what the heck you were listening to!