I think the thing that really got me to start writing in my journals again is listening to podcasts and reading blogs about pens and paper. I love pens and paper. I have always been drawn to stationary stores and even their small sections in larger stores. I would go to the neighborhood drug store not to buy snacks or comic books but to gaze at the pens, pencils and other tools available on the 6 foot length of aisle. My first shoplifting was a 6" ruler. Who steals a ruler?

I know that tools don't matter. I have heard the arguments of photographers and their cameras. It is how you wield the weapon is what results you can expect. But I still listen to the Pen Addict Podcast and look at what new pen or journal they are talking about. Many pen aficionados talk about fountain pens. I had one once. I bought it because I liked the design of the pen. It was from Shaeffer and had a jungle scene with a lion and a rainbow. I was a tween, of course I love rainbows. This pen used disposable cartridges of ink. I don't remember anything about the writing experience.

I understand that using a fountain pen can be a wonderful experience. But I also know they need to be maintained. I grumble when I have to change the refill on my roller ball pen, I do not want to think about ink, eye droppers and cleaning nibs. My years in architecture have taught me that cleaning pens is a hassle and not worth the effort. Yes, I know cleaning fountain pens is much easier than cleaning drafting pens with their minuscule needles, but I just want to get the writing done with minimal effort. I use mechanical pencils so I don't have to stop and sharpen them.

Regarding paper, my first journals were purchased because of the cloth covers. I just liked the way they looked. The paper didn't matter to me. When I moved to a digital planner, I no longer had extra pages for journaling and I jumped on the Moleskine bandwagon. I like the look of the books and the paper is once to write on. I have purchased a number of Field Notes but am not a collector. I am not a [Field Addict] ( They are good to have when you need to write something quickly and don't take up a lot of space in your bag. I had purchased a Rhodia notebook back in 2011. I started using it again and love the dotted grid. If Moleskine had a dotted grid, I would not switch. The Rhodia covers feel like buttery smooth leather and the paper is a dream to write on. They are not ubiquitous like Moleskine so they are not as cheap.

Will a better pen or a better notebook make me a better writer? No, but I might enjoy the process more and therefore write more. Like some bloggers prefer a clicky keyboard, I love the feel of smooth paper and pens that glide without effort. Only writing a lot will make me a better writer.