The Journal is an online collection of articles and essays written and curated by Thomas W Coombs, published bi-annually.

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Issue 9; The Lost Art

by T W Coombs

We live in a world where we have a small slim box of glass, metal and plastic sat in our pockets (thankfully not clipped to belts these days) that we can sort our life on.  From our diary, to notes, voice notes, dictionary, the list just goes on.  But with this ease of life planning, something is being missed.  The elegance of pen design, the thoughtfulness of the handwritten note, and the amazing feeling of receiving a letter in the post, not just an email.  We have lost a true art form.

To put a stop to the ongoing world of staring at computer screens in one form or another and the tip-tap of the keyboard would be great for some things.  And even the thud of the touch screen is a common sound, even for me and this is why I write a journal.  Every now and again a write down what is happening in my life.  Fair this is not exactly going to become the eloquent diary published years after my death but it is a way of me remembering certain times of my life.  Because of what I am writing about I like to choose quality paper and a pen.  I would like to share what I use, from my writing notebooks, diary, journal and too my writing implements themselves.

To start off, I keep my notebooks and diaries under one bind, as it were, I standby the quality of Moleskine and the paper within.  Depending on your choice of pen you need to decide on the paper, as I use a fountain much of the time you need thinner paper that will take the ink of a fountain over a roller-ball style.  The classic Moleskine with ruled pages is my choice in a pocket style so it can easily been transported.  This is what I use for blog ideas, work notes, story layouts, basically any note I need to take, I keep notebooks simple in black but there are many colours available.

As like my notebooks I keep a Moleskine Diary to schedule my life, from my girlfriends working hours, that do change quite a lot, to measuring out my working days and things I need to remember to do or check on. I used to keep a week per view style, even though thinner and has a notes page, I found I was using the notes page to the max and wanted to schedule in time better.  So I upgraded or changed to the day per view with time slots, so each day has a page.  Even though thicker, so maybe a bit of a bulge in the pocket the other dimensions are the same to sit in a bag nicely.  Now I can book time to each item I need to, and does have a gap for extra notes below each day.  What I love about Moleskine is the personalisation without breaking the bank, with two script styles to choose from and silver or cold it is a nice addition to a quality item.

My journal is from a different ilk and I go for something a little flashy and old school, with beautiful notebooks website that have a great range of blank page journals with some amazing patterns.  They are hard back with clasps and a thick recycled paper that has a rustic feel to it and makes me think of writing in times gone by.

Now to the implements;

The Pencil, I am currently using a free one picked up at the Aviator hotel, the Hotel by Tag but keep to the standard HB.  As long as a good solid make you don’t get the issues of lead breakage as you sharpen.  And unlike the lead filled click styles I find them stronger and last longer.

The Ballpoint Pen, I carry a Classic Century Lustrous Chrome from Cross.  In a nice £40 range it is a smooth writing tool I have had for over ten years.  The thin elegant design and simple fresh chrome finish always makes it stand out when you sign something.

The Fountain Pen - I use and have done for six years is a Parker Premier.  The model I have is no longer available but the range still is, but the prestige of writing with a fountain is surpassed by none.  I find the new level of Parker construction is far from the leaky plastic things I used at school on that first day before the humble Biro took over.  I have had no problem with this pen and with ranges on different levels of price it is a must go to.  And dare I say, due to the metal styles it makes some Mont Blanc pens seem like the plastic heaps of old.

So that is it on writing, now go out and conquer a lost art form of writing, or is it a new form of writing for so many?