I have decided to resurrect my ink pens, which have been a bit neglected of late. Instead, I’ve taken the easy option and used Uni-ball Eye Fine pens, which are pretty good and very easy to write with, but they aren’t ink pens.
There’s something special about writing long hand. It’s massively inefficient. You’d think it would have become extinct in the age of the laptop and iPad.
But it is an aesthetic choice.
As is buying Moleskine or Rhodia notebooks. They’re expensive, at about £15 a pop, for what is essentially blank paper. You could get a notebook that would do the same job for less than a tenth of the price. Couple that with ink pens that are inconvenient and potentially messy, and you are choosing the road less travelled.
My point? People like to make aesthetic choices, and this includes writers. In an age where many wine writers are jumping straight to the laptop to bang out as many tasting notes as possible, there’s something to be said for writing long hand, pen on nice paper. It changes the way you write, I reckon.
We live in a media age where we struggle with a tsunami of information, where everyone is a writer. Professional writers are afraid of being lost in the crowd, and the temptation for them is to bank out more output in a bid to stay relevant and corner a larger slice of the market.
But could it be that the answer is to produce less, but better? Could changing the medium from laptop to longhand producer better output?
I use my laptop for tasting notes, sometimes. But tasting notes are just tasting notes. The world probably doesn’t need too many more of them. Competition has resulted in vast numbers of tasting notes being published, and also score creep. Like a drug addict who needs an ever increasing dose to feel the same high, the consumers of scores need ever greater scores. Yet the limit is 100. It will soon be reached, to the point that wines will be judged on a binary score: 99 (fail); 100 (succeed).
Could ink and decent paper be the answer?