My Pencil Sharpener and I

As a writer, I often prefer to write with pencil first, onto a fresh page, before transferring it to the computer. My pencil sharpener, at these times, becomes my best friend.

How odd you may think, a pencil sharpener is an odd thing to be listed amongst my favourite belongings. What does that say about me? Who knows and I don’t really care …… and, I’ll tell you what, this is not the first time I’ve written about pencil sharpeners.

I blame my second teacher, Mrs Foster, who had an aversion to blunt pencils. And now, so do I. As a teacher I shudder when a child tries writing with a thick, fat, blunt lead. I throw up my hands in horror, snatch the pencil from unsuspecting hands, whip out my pencil sharpener as my weapon of choice and start my attack.

But how does this relate to my writing life? While much of my writing is done at the computer, I prefer to write with a pencil. In my more creative moments I enjoy feeling the words flow across the page. There is a serenity that enables creative thoughts to flow more easily. Like all good working people, I need to ensure my tools are in the best possible shape to carry out the task being asked of them. We’ve been told  a poor tradesman blames his or her tools. I have this perception a blunt pencil contributes to blunt writing.

If I want to keep my work sharp and crisp, if I want to feel ideas flowing onto the page, I need one simple tool – a reliable pencil sharpener. I couldn’t live without mine.

What about you? What is your tool of choice when wearing your writer’s hat?

3 thoughts on “My Pencil Sharpener and I

  1. I have always hated a blunt pencil, but in school I would always be in trouble for being at the sharpener too long or disrupting cladd to go to the sharpener!

    I m not a teacher in public school but as a homeschooling mom! With my DD I don’t have this problem, as my child will only use the lead pencils, the kind you push down the top and out pops the lead, but when it comes to my writings, I always need. A sharp wooden pencil or two!

  2. I wrote 90% of my first novel with a fountain pen. The inked nib made the flow easier on my wrists. Now I tend to use rollerball pens for notes, and type direct upon my laptop. I was the pencil sharpener monitor for one term at school. I was so proud of my responsibility! 😀

  3. I wholeheartedly agree with you, Val. Nothing more satisfying than a freshly sharpened pencil, and nothing more irritating than trying to find a sharp spot on a blunted pencil.

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