I’ve stopped writing because I’ve been making pens

Not too long ago, I started a small business making and selling pens. To date, I’ve sold three pens. I’ve made around 40, many of which have been gifted. Technically, two of my sales were mechanical pencils. To the same person.

I’m absolutely in love with making pens, so much so that there are nights I forget to eat. Turning pens is great because I love pens. Making them is just the bee’s knees, as far as I’m concerned. But there’s something more that pen turning gives me that I never anticipated: time.

After work, I’m beat. On most days, I’m already tired by the time I’ve parked my car in the morning. When I get home after work, I make some tea, have a snack, and then do some work for SANA Stationery & Gifts. It takes a jolt to get me up off the couch but the momentum is quick to set in. Then, I miss dinner.

It took me a while to notice, but a couple of weeks ago I caught myself thinking while working at the lathe. Turning the wood was my focus but thoughts unrelated to woodworking were pouring out of my mouth as words. I’ve noticed, too, that my mood has a real impact on how I approach turning. Simply put, pen turning is the mindfulness practice I never knew I was looking for.

Everything from quitting my job and moving to some remote farm somewhere off far away to my high school crushes has crossed my mind while I’m at the lathe. Some thoughts are more persistent and demand more attention than others. I don’t feel in control of which ideas will present themselves, but I do feel in control of the ideas themselves.

Turning pens has its own rhythm. Some tasks require significant focus while others are more routine. These two states ebb and flow to the patterns of the pen. During the ebbs, my thoughts have a chance to backfill my focus. They’re all trying to squeeze through the gate, like fans in the front row.

What’s most beautiful about the whole process is that a pen appears at the end of it all. Pen turning gives me a chance to process my thoughts while also helping me remain engaged with a task and be productive. It’s a double-scoop of my favourite ice cream in a sugar cone.

The tragedy of this story is that I haven’t been writing as much. My podcast, which I was hoping to get back into, has fallen to the wayside. My apartment isn’t as clean lately.

I’ve been telling myself that I need to write more, that I should start a nightly journalling routine. I don’t as much as I’d like to. At this point, I think that writing my thoughts down is the only way to move forward with them. My morning pages are a bit more interesting of a read, I think; though, they’ll never be read.

Still, I can’t let go of the irony in this situation.

Check out SANA Stationery & Gifts on Etsy.


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