My Holy Grail Pen and Paper – CJ Chilvers

CJ Chilvers:

Writers spend way too much time and money seeking out their “grail” pen and paper combo — the tools that will make their work so much “smoother.” It’s a pattern we’ve seen repeated in all creative pursuits.

Why does he quote “smoother” here? Is that from something? It’s an odd word for describing creative work.

I’m happy that Chilvers has a setup that works for him and that he doesn’t feel a need to try anything else. A little envious, even. On the other hand, I don’t love the insinuation that people who try different tools are somehow on a futile and unnecessary quest that can never lead to anything other than frustration and reduced creative output. OK, that might be me reading too much into it, but, isn’t it possible that some people simply enjoy trying new things? Can the search for better or more enjoyable tools never be more than just blind consumerism or creative procrastination?

2 Comments

  1. https://reallifemag.com/rank-and-file/

    This post reminded me of this long-read I only just got to:

    > “After the failure of my zettelkasten to write my dissertation for me, I finally had to acknowledge that something had been wrong about the advice I received so many years before: a scholar’s notes were not a life’s work, but only a tool. ”

    I think it’s easy sometimes to veer into the former (‘a life’s work’) and not remember it’s the latter (‘only a tool’).

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