I,writer # 16 … Naming Pens

I,writer # 16 … Naming Pens


Hello dear reader(s) …

This is not a post about pen names. If JK Rowling wants to call herself Robert Galbraith then that’s absolutely fine by me.

No. This is a post about naming pens. I am fully prepared to admit that this may sound a bit confusing. It may seem like I am splitting hairs but I’m not. Honestly. Sorry to be so annoyingly pedantic.


Even the computer seemed to be scratching its head in puzzlement. You know the form. I tried entering ‘naming pens’ into my friendly neighbourhood search-engine and it absolutely insisted on giving me results for pen names.

I also tried ‘my pen is called ...’ and I got some very useful results like 5 penis facts from NHS Choices and Question: Is my penis normal ?


Naming pens means pen naming …


Some years ago I read that the author Thomas Hardy was in the habit of personally engraving the bone handle of each of his dip-pens with the name of the text it was used to write. His desk is currently on display at The Dorset County Museum and the very pens he used to write Tess of the D’Urbervilles and Jude the Obscure are there as well.


Thomas Hardy at his desk


Thomas Hardy’s desk showing his dip-pens with engraved bone handles.


I write notes and first drafts in longhand on lined paper with a black Bic Cristal biro. I only use one biro at a time. I will not start using a new biro until the previous one is completely empty. I give each biro a name which I cellotape onto the plastic barrel. Each one is named after a spacecraft. I like to think of the ink in the tube as a wonderful type of rocket writing fuel that pushes me onwards towards new frontiers.


I am currently using Ranger 4. Launched in April 1962, it was the first spacecraft of the United States to impact another celestial body.


I keep all the empty biros in a special tin. They have worked hard for me so they deserve a little respect. After all – each one has written for over 2 miles without fail.




7 responses to “I,writer # 16 … Naming Pens

  1. Interesting. I have no feelings or connections with my pens and use whichever one is handy.

  2. What an interesting concept! I usually just grab whatever is around…

  3. I don’t name them but the Bic Crystal is my pen of choice 🙂

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