The Love Affair of the Pen and Paper (Or the Daunting Blank Page)

Pen and Paper

When I am away from my desk I cannot wait to return to it and handwrite something. But when I am at my desk with a blank sheet of paper before me I stare at her as at a naked girl, and my pen freezes, and I am afraid to touch her, for fear that I will despoil her.

A blank page is pure, immaculate, virgin. It promises literary greatness. On every blank page is hidden the best poetry or prose or love letter ever written. The pen is irresistibly attracted to her… He wants to stain her with his ink.

But after the first sentence is written the promise of greatness is replaced by the disappointment of reality.

What I put on paper is so far from what I think in my mind and feel in my heart, that after a few words I blush, and after a few lines I get rid of the written shame. I pretend it never happened.

“A writer is a person for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.”
Thomas Mann

The pen is wont to abandon a despoiled paper, to move on to the next virgin paper. Itโ€™s the way he is. Little does he care that the despoiled crumples from grief and ends up in the trash.

The paper is virgin, the pen is audacious; the result of their friction is a literary tragedy.

But sometimes one encounters a brave pen that stays with the paper whose virginity he has taken. He marries her. And then he makes love with her daily… he rewrites, he edits, he corrects, and by doing so, he uncovers the best in her.

A pen and a sheet of paper, just like a man and a woman, make love better if they know each other well.


Do you ever throw to the trash a sheet of paper with just a few words or sentences on it?

49 thoughts on “The Love Affair of the Pen and Paper (Or the Daunting Blank Page)

  1. Lovely, Vinc! I see the long break made you very good!;)

    But… how is it that the pen can marry the paper? First, are they opposite sex? If not, is that possible in your country? Second, more important, if a pan were to be faithful to one piece of paper it would never write much… Would it be enough to even call a novel? Perhaps a pen becomes faithful to his paper once he becomes a poet and writes the most wonderful love poem ever. What do you think?

    I think it must be really hard for a pen to remain faithful!

        1. I meant sticking with it until you get the best out of it. Of course, I probably wrote something totally different. Dear Julie, why don’t you read the headline of this blog?

          1. So finally they don’t get married, it’s just a love affair, or they get divorced?

            Ah, fine, I surrender & leave this couple (or mostly you) in peace.

            Enjoy the evening, Vinc!

      1. Oh, if you only knew! I have an abundant shoe collection, but red shoes remind me of Dorothy of the Wizard of Oz ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I never through a piece of paper with my own words on it away. I find that, some day, looking back at the words I’ve written, that those words come into their own in time. Sometimes they can sit for years in a notebook I’ve retired, and panning through old notes and poems, I’ll find that one line and something will click. ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. ๐Ÿ˜€ So long as you don’t pity yourself! I love going through old notebooks, even if they aren’t my own. I have some old memo pads from the 20s that have little poems scribbled in them from some person who didn’t sign their name in the book. They aren’t mine, so I don’t post them, but they are nice, and I like to use them for inspiration sometimes. ^_^

  3. I get the same feeling. Sitting there, just staring at the beautiful new piece of paper. I don’t want to write on it for fear I will mess it up and lose my chance at creating something. Yet at the same time it is so taunting and intriguing; so many possiblities…

  4. This is fabulous. The analogy is perfect, as is the artwork. You are a literary genius. The quote by Mann has long been one of my favorites. And, usually, I still with one sheet of paper (these days on my computer, but still). I don’t mind crossing out and editing, moving on to a new paragraph and abandoning the first. But all on the same page; no longer blank, but still beautiful. Why waste a perfectly good piece of paper?

    1. I blush but I am no such person!

      I am only a woeful hatted boy, humble biographer of one Oliver Colors, moonbeamed painter.

      You are right. But living with one’s shame is hard.

  5. love your entry. i might make it into a short film one day.. coz seriously, i am starting to image how it will translate into film.. love it vincent! another great work from you.. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Trying to ignore the previous comments that have perhaps already told you this but, yes, that was a beautiful analogy. More beautiful, perhaps, if the pen had seen the secrets hidden in the blank paper, and had married it, committing to a lifetime of attempting, failing, succeeding to bring those secrets up out of her…

  7. I usually write in notebooks (cute ones), and even if I’m not too happy about my scribblings tearing out a whole page would be too drastic, so usually just scratch out what ever I don’t like and stay on the page. My pens don’t do soil and run ๐Ÿ˜‰

  8. Never throw anything away – because in doing that you throw a part of yourself away, and in the end there will be nothing left of you that you haven’t rejected.

  9. I find it so hard to throw paper away… and starting on a fresh page is something I love and hate at the same time – love since it is so full of promise, hate because I am always afraid to spoil this promise.

  10. So I noticed no males wanted to “spill their ink” on this post…interesting. Were you writing with women in mind? And are you really only 21? Keep up the good work…very intriguing “voice” you have!

    1. Most of the readers on this blog are lovely women. Women are actually bigger readers than men. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Yes, I am 21, but I am still quite incapable to tie my own shoelaces. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

  11. this is a beautiful work.. really loved it.. specially the way u describe the paper.. its wonderful.

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