The Pen vs. The Pencil

Okay. You're sitting on the couch, relaxing and listening to music, when some lyrics of your own come into your head. You snatch up a pad of paper and start scrambling through a drawer to find something to write with, finding a couple pencils and a pen. What do you choose? Or, after a long eventful day, you decide to write in your journal to help you wind down. You have a cup of gel pens and colored pencils sitting on your desk. What do you choose? When writing for one's self, a pen is more user-friendly and produces a cleaner finished product than a pencil.

A pen is a good tool to use in writing where errors don't matter as much, such as journal writing or list writing. Cross outs are simpler and easier to do than stopping to erase and re-write a word. There isn't a big emphasis on spelling or grammar, so it is okay to leave mistakes and go on.

Though normal pen ink isn't erasable, there are pens with erasable ink that write like pencils. They even come in colors other than black, such as blue and red. Just make sure you don't write a check with one! Words written in erasable ink look like words written in normal ink, but they erase just like pencil lead.

Ink stands out. Even plain black pens are easier to see than graphite pencils. When I write papers with a pencil at my desk, I have to turn the desk lamp away from the paper because the graphite reflects the light; the glare makes it difficult to see what I've written or am writing. However, when I use pen I can see my writing clearly, even with the light shining directly on the paper. Even sparkly gel pens are easier to see because they have ink as well as the reflective sparkling bits.

My favorite pens to write with, next to plain black pens, are gel pens. They brighten up my writing, and I can correct my papers with sparkling ink, instead of plain colored pencils. In most gel pens the ink level is visible, so I know when I am about to run out of ink. I especially like to use them to write lists. I can write each item in a different ink, and still write quickly, because I don't have to sharpen the pens to keep a sharp point.

When quickly jotting down a poem, song, or story idea, sharpening a dull pencil takes too much time. If you like to keep your writing looking sharp and clear, you have to continually sharpen your pencil. Pens are constant, laying down sharp and clear lines consistently. You never have to sharpen pens. Pens stay the same size from the day you buy them to the day the ink runs out (and even after that). Pencils, however, become smaller and smaller every time they are sharpened, until eventually they become a stub that is difficult to hold and write effectively with.

Writing with a pencil always leaves graphite dust scattered over the page, no matter how carefully you try to blow it away. Anytime something brushes it the dust smears. This makes for a messy finished product. Pen ink doesn't smear once it's dry, and it is permanent unless the paper gets wet.

A pen is easier and quicker to use than a pencil. All you need is a pen and the paper you are going to write on. No sharpener, eraser, or in the case of clicker pencils, spare lead. And when the ink runs out, toss it and use a new pen.

A/N: Believe it or not, this was two hard written pages in Word. Doesn't look like much now, does it?