Today’s badge took a few moments to register. I permitted myself a knowing laugh when I saw it, as at one point in my life I tried pretty hard to be a writer. I had a few poems published here and there in my early twenties, and also wrote a couple of novels, one of which I self-published and is still available. I like to say I didn’t give up writing, but rather it gave me up; I didn’t make a conscious decision to stop, I just found I was doing more and more web development, which gives me a similar sense of satisfaction. So to think that at one time as a child I might’ve worn this badge or been given it because I showed writerly promise gives me mixed feelings.
Having said all that, on second glance this badge isn’t actually about creative writing, but writing nicely. I had fantastic handwriting as a kid, if I say so myself. As the badge suggests, I used a Sheaffer fountain pen, with lovely blue ink cartridges and an italic nib. It’s interesting looking at the Sheaffer website now and finding it’s an American company, as for some reason I’d assumed it was European. I didn’t study calligraphy properly, I just developed my own style. The badge advertises the No Nonsense range, which rings a vague bell… ah! The very cockles of my heart are warmed to find a website with the wonderful name of PenHero.com which has some information about Sheaffer’s No Nonsense pens, complete with photos. Mine was black with gold edging. I actually just rummaged for the original, as my recent house move has left me still half-surrounded by boxes of stuff from my past – no luck so far, but what I have found is an example of my handwriting from when I was about 12:
Not bad huh? This is what it’s like now (this is from some notes written quickly in a journal, but even so):
Handwriting is thus merely one of a number of things I did better as a kid than I do as a grown-up. Of course, it’s a skill you don’t need so much these days, but even so, maybe I should wear the badge and re-learn how to write more brightly, and with less nonsense. I might even start a handwritten blog… once I find my fountain pen, that is.