Monday, March 02, 2015

Luxury Pens And Pencils For Offline Writers

Whenever I'm out and about, I typically write using a bluetooth keyboard paired with my iPhone, and a cloud service where I keep my manuscripts, such as Microsoft's Onedrive.

I'm led to believe I'm on the bleeding edge of technology since strangers regularly ask me about my setup.

Maybe you don’t want to be on the cutting edge, but rather ensconced comfortably on the opposite side. In that case, you'll find at Amazon or just about anywhere various types of notebooks for sale filled with bright blank pages, and pencils and pens for every budget.

I've never owned what I would consider a luxury pen--or pencil, either. I mean, what's the point? Who would know anyway. It's like wearing an expensive watch. No one knows it's expensive and if you show them it's a Rolex, they'll assume it's a fake, so you don’t derive any social cache from wearing it despite the monstrous price tag.

Many cheap items such as pens, watches and jewelry are designed to appear as if they are expensive, making the legitimate luxury items less valuable since no one really believes they are expensive, but just cheap bling. Rolex watches, for example.

And who uses pens anymore, except students on a budget and a small minority of writers? It’s been years since I could read my own handwriting because long ago I stopped using pens and pencils for anything beyond scribbling my signature. But still, expensive pens and pencils are sold so that means buyers are out there somewhere—likely social climbers who need to keep one step above the unwashed masses with their yellow number twos.

Today for the first time ever, I looked at Amazon's luxury pen and pencil section. A large selection of both can be had for about $300 and far more, if you need the ultimate best. For example, here is a Mont Blanc Meisterstuck pen for $365:

If pencils are your thing, here is a Mont Blanc "mechanical" pencil for a mere $410:

I can't see myself in a conversation with anyone explaining that mine is no ordinary pen:

"Oh by the by," I would say, "did you notice this pen I’m writing with? It cost me 300 bucks!"

"Why does it cost so much?"

"The fine craftsmanship and rare material needed to manufacture such a rarely-seen luxury writing implement."

"But why do you need it?"

This is a tough one to answer. "Because I write better with an expensive pen." But would anyone believe me? It makes more sense to be honest and say, "Because I want to impress people" or "It makes me think I'm writing great stuff despite the truth."

In any event, once you tell someone you spent $300 on a pen, she isn't impressed but wonders if you're nuts (assuming she knows you not a billionaire). Surely only the affluent one-percenters or those desperate to enter wealthy social circles buy these things?

Has any great writer ever used one--I mean, since the invention of the typewriter? If you write a lot, wouldn't all those pencils add up to a small fortune? You figure one pencil per week, on the conservative side. Let's use for our example a bargain basement luxury pencil price of $20 each. That would be $20 x 52 weeks for a total of $1,040 per year when you could have bought a whole bushel of cheap pencils for a fraction of that amount.

And think of all the coffee you could have purchased at your favorite café with that money you spent on luxury pencils when no one knows and no one cares.

Take a look at my books:

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