Pens & pencils or keyboard? The road to discovery…


I read a post about handwritten writing. I remember keeping notebooks to write in. I collected spiral notebooks. I touched the crisp pages and envisioned writing something amazing. And I would collect pencils. I loved the darkness of the lead and the feel against the paper of a good #2 pencil. And then I discovered refillable pencils. As long as I got the thicker lead pencils, I got the same feeling when I wrote. And then I discovered the smooth feel of a good ball point pen. I liked the way the tip would glide over the paper. Despite my collection of pencils and pens and the way my pile of notebooks grew larger, the pages remained blank.

It was exciting to pick out another notebook and have handfuls of sharpened pencils ready to go, and pens lined up, and dream of filling the pages with words or stories. But the collecting was easier than the writing. It was hard for me to set the words to paper because I didn’t think anyone would want to read what I had to say. Who wants to read about my daily frustrations?

I found it difficult to verbalize my thoughts because I was so practiced at keeping to myself and being closed off. I was brought up to cope, to keep my own council, and being an introvert kept me from sharing with friends. Our minds are full of random thoughts that dart in every direction, sometimes making sense and sometimes out of nowhere and just weird. But if we speak them out loud, or write them down, they become more present. And I never wanted to look that closely. It had taken too long to put the thoughts away.

I did like to dabble in poetry and enjoyed writing by hand. But when you are so accustomed to hiding from yourself, it is difficult to bring the hidden thoughts out. I learned early to ‘stuff’ my thoughts. It’s like putting something you don’t want to see into a small space or closet and closing and locking the door and ignoring it. I became very practiced at separating myself from things and past thoughts and learned to be able to see things from both perspectives. It was like playing Devils’ Advocate. I could see the bad and the good side and stay totally distanced from it. Not a good way to grow up and then be able to share thoughts and desires with anyone.

I sometimes found poetry to be easier. It was abstract or religious and thoughts could be expressed in disguise. And the thoughts could be short. But my innate belief in my lack of obvious talent, or any ability whatsoever stifled my capacity to write my thoughts. They were too buried, out of sight and unobtainable. I would give up and put away the notebooks.

I do love typing and find it easier. I enjoy the feel of typing, and the sound of the keyboard strokes. Typing didn’t hurt my arthritis or make my carpal tunnel flare up. Typing was fun. But, wasn’t I talking about pens? And pencils? And collecting notebooks?

This is a perfect example of letting your mind take you where it wills. I didn’t plan this. I thought I was going to talk about whether or not I liked writing longhand vs typing on a keyboard. Just look where it took me. Interesting to say the least.

Apparently I have a bit of a compulsive obsessive personality. Over the years I would jump from one thing to another and always end up with a stash of something I had to store somewhere. I collected yarn to knit or crochet wondrous things. The searching for the perfect color of yarn or the perfect feel was more fun than finishing a project. My attention waned.

I painted. I loved buying tubes of paint and trying out different brands of paint. First in oils and later in acrylics. But my ability to put what I saw in my mind onto canvas frustrated me. I was self-taught and didn’t know how to show what was in my head. I could envision glorious things in my mind and what I managed to put to canvas was simple and juvenile. It was crushing. I used to make some of my own clothes. I would go shopping for cloth. So many colors and patterns to choose from. So many different textures. My closets became full of yards and yards of different fabrics I would look at and touch and dream of projects and then put it all away.

Many would say I just have a lot of interests. Or I have a creative side and have yet to find the perfect outlet for it. I think it is just the inability to make a decision on a project knowing it will be time-consuming and being unable to commit to the time necessary to finish it. But at my age, it doesn’t matter any more. I can do what I want when I want. I have extra time and I can pick and choose.

Now, I think blogging fills that need. I can write about whatever gets my attention or I can just ramble and see what happens. I am enjoying myself and learning to improve my skill at crafting a sentence or a thought while I’m at it. A win-win situation. And so, for now, I’ll continue to ramble and if someone out there reads what I have to say once in a while, it’s a good thing.

And so the journey continues…

About estherlou

My husband and I married in 1970. I am the mother of 2 and grandmother to 5. I share my health stories and my experiences with Thrive. I am reading and writing blogs, watching tv, making jewelry and rosaries, selling in my Etsy store and playing solitaire. I am home bound and add in my physical therapy exercises to my daily routine. I will blog about my progress or anything that catches my attention at that moment. See you around and thanks for stopping by!
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4 Responses to Pens & pencils or keyboard? The road to discovery…

  1. I enjoy your writing. I share many of the same thoughts about life, hobbies, identity. I spend a lot of time in my head, and it’s interesting to hear from someone else with similar thoughts. Please keep sharing.


  2. estherlou says:

    Thanks for reading and thanks for the encouragement. I’m probably just showing my age. LOL


  3. Gale Wright says:

    Very nicely written! I enjoyed reading this.


  4. estherlou says:

    Thanks for reading!


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