Sunday, May 4, 2014

Ink Stained Fingers

Ink Stained Fingers is a project created by Larissa Jones over on Twitter.  The idea being, go back to traditional ways of writing - that is, pen to paper - over electronic forms of writing.

This project resonates with me because I am constantly telling kids at school to carry a notebook or writer's journal with them.  I tell them about how I love my Moleskine.  I show them mine.  I show them the rough sketches, the lists of ideas, the bits of things I have written when I'm thinking.  They see the scratching out, the side notes and arrows pointing all over.  They see the beginnings of poems and the final drafts.  I don't let them look too closely - my writing is personal until I'm ready to publish it - but I do let them take a glance and see that things aren't always effortless as they may seem.  I think it's important for them to see that writing is a constant process.  It's jotting down an idea here or spending a few moments writing things out there.

My favorite gift for a kid is to take a regular marble composition books and turn it into a fake Moleskine.  I've written about that process in a few places, but most recently I wrote about it here about a year ago.  Amazing what a little duct tape or contact paper or pleather or whatever with some fancy paper and a ribbon can do to make a plain composition book feel special for a kid.  Add a special pen or pencil and you have someone who will want to write.

It takes me about a year to fill up a Moleskine.  I go through phases where that's where the bulk of my writing happens and phases where nothing happens.  That's how writing works too - there are times when you write and write and write and write and times when you don't.

But there is something magical about pouring yourself a cup of tea, sitting someplace peaceful and taking your pen to paper and just writing.  So go out and find yourself something fancy to write in (if you don't have something already) or, better yet, get yourself a composition book and visit a local craft store for some fancy paper and duct tape and make your own.

Then let your fingers get ink stained as you write.

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