Let’s face it…we all have way too many things we have to do, tasks we consider chores. If we throw writing our life stories into that basket, we’ll never do it. Why would we? In order to get those all-important stories onto paper, we need to make writing fun, turn it into something we look forward to doing rather than something we have to do.

So how do we do that? Well, I have a few suggestions. I call them the five Ps to Make Writing Fun.

In honor of the New Year and my desire for everyone to start 2013 in the write way, I’m going to do a blog post every day this week. Each day, we’ll focus on one of the Ps to Make Writing Fun in 2013. At the end of every post, there will be a challenge, something to do to add to your writing experience.

So, let’s get started. The first P is dedicated to a writer’s most basic tool—the pen.

Pens – If you write by hand, find pens you love to write with. Most people grab the pen that’s closest and use it. Writers aren’t usually like that. As a breed, we tend to favor certain types of pens and go to great lengths to have the tools we need.

When deciding on what pen to use, consider the type—fountain pen, ballpoint, rollerball, felt tip, gel pen—the weight, the size, the color, how it feels in your hand, how it moves across the paper, and its price.

A young girl of twelve, Haley Johnson, came to a few Writing Your Life classes and brought with her a bag of pens of every color and kind. I loved watching her write because she chose the color best suited to the assignment and enthusiastically wrote with her special pens. At the end of the workshop, her paper was a rainbow of colors, thoughts and images, a work of art.

My favorite pen for the last year or so has been the Paper Mate Profile 1.4 mm. I love its medium ballpoint and the smooth way the ink flows onto the paper. Plus they come in a variety of colors, including purple, my favorite. I just purchased a pack of eight—purple, green, turquoise, magenta, blue, orange, black and red—in anticipation of beginning the third year of my current five-year journal.

My husband Bob suggested I write each year in a different color, so now I have a big decision to make. Will 2013 be represented in magenta, green or turquoise? 2011 unfolded in purple and 2012 in black. I’m still undecided, so I’ve been having a great time trying out all the colors.

Today’s challenge: In the next couple of days, try out a variety of pens and figure out what type you like best. Even if you compose your fabulous stories on a computer, you still need a pen to take notes and jot down those ideas that surface when you’re not in front of your PC. Why not use a fun pen?

Go to one of the office supply stores—my favorite place to shop—and pick out a few pens you think you might like. Many of the manufacturers have samples available that you can try before you buy. Test the most expensive pen you can find, even if you would never spend that kind of money on a pen. Try fountain, ballpoint, gel, rollerball, and felt tip pens. Practice with pens you’d never use in a million years, just for fun.

Then, when all your sampling is done, pick one or more types of pens you want to use to write in 2013. Treat yourself to this new treasure and get ready to write.

Share your thoughts – What type of pens do you like? Do you favor one color over another? What’s the last pen you purchased? What did you discover doing this pen-exploration challenge?

Photo courtesy of: http://www.flickr.com/photos/42905009@N00/

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