Hello writers! One of the most difficult writing challenges is taking place next month: National Novel Writing Month (www.nanowrimo.org). It is a spectacular commitment to write 50,000 words of a novel within the month of November. All writers have their own method of madness- some are Mac book whizzes, other are meticulous typewriter enthusiasts, but our favorite kind is the beloved napkin scribbler: the handwriter. It takes a special sort of someone to literally pen 50,000 words in a month, but all around the nation, and the world, that is what will be happening!
The advantages of handwriting your novel are numerous- sparked creativity, the inability to delete (aka you must keep what you are writing at least for that moment), and the knowledge that you are joining the likes of Hemingway, Kerouac, and Rowling. You won't be tethered to desk and laptop, but instead can explore the world (or at least your local coffee shop) to write. Your rough draft will, in fact, be rough. Sheets or notebooks filled with the burning thoughts of a literary genius drafting up the next classic (right?). You will never have to worry about a hard drive crash obliterating your work. You'll have that hard copy for all time.
There is time after this month to comb through your work. To re-write the hurried mentality of the first draft. To delve deeper into characters and circumstances and re-imagine them. November is not that time. NaNoWriMo is the time for glorious written exploration. Write, write more, and then keep writing!
We can't help you with the plot twists, analogies, or rising action, but we can get you ready to undertake the writing feat of the year. We've put together three sets of perfect writing instruments, paper, and ink to make this NaNoWriMo incredibly productive.
Jinhao 159 $12.50. Available in eight different colors, you can go from classic black to lime green. These are big pens with a large grip section. We got a lot of feedback from writers that fatter pens are better for long writing sessions because you don't have to grip as hard. These pens are a bargain at $12.50 and with an upgraded Goulet nib and Standard International Converter, they'll write just as well as a pen twice as expensive.
Clairefontaine Classic Wirebound Notebook - Lined $5.50. Pretty much your classic notebook, lined pages, wirebound, with one fantastic adjustment: paper. Clairefontaine paper is some of the best out there. It's smooth, thick, and depending on your nib size and ink choice, you should have no trouble with ghosting.
Noodler's Black $12.40. This is the top selling ink at the Goulet Pen Company, and with good reason. Reliable, waterproof, wet, it works well in a variety of pens on numerous types of paper.
Noodler's Cactus Fruit Eel $12.50. A dynamic and deep magenta, this ink will stand bright against the page. Like the rest of the Noodler's Eel series, these inks have extra lubrication making the writing experience that much more smooth. Not sure if you could write your entire novel in it? Maybe just use it for edits...
TWSBI Vac 700 ($65-$70) or Diamond 580 ($50-$55). We couldn't decide between these two because they are both so awesome. Smooth nibs, fat grip (again, for easier holding in those long writing sessions), and see through barrel making it easy to assess your ink level. The advantage to the Vac 700 is the huge ink capacity that really makes this a work horse pen. You may need that extra $20 for all the coffee you'll be drinking this month, in which case, go with the 580.
Maruman Mnemosyne N199 A4 Notebook - Lined $13. Lined, wirebound, and smooth, Maruman Mnemosyne notebooks are made for long writing sessions. They have a sturdier cover than the suggested Clairefontaine notebooks above, making them ideal for tossing in a bag and going. The soft grey lines and off-white paper will be gentle on your eyes as you write late into the night.
Parker Quink Permanent Blue-Black $11. Parker ink is a classic, lovely ink, that behaves well in antique and brand new pens alike. Blue/black inks are serious enough to keep you on track, but do give you different shades depending on how much ink you put down. This ink is fairly fast-drying, permanent, and an all around winner. Fill your pen up- you won't be disappointed!
Diamine Syrah $14.95. Deep, rich, and vibrant, Diamine Syrah has excellent flow and saturation. It also shades like crazy, which will keep you writing for longer. It's definitely off the beaten path in terms of red ink and will be pleasant to your eyes, especially on cream colored paper.
Lamy 2000 $159.20. With an incredibly smooth nib and a seemingly endless ink reservoir, the Lamy 2000 is an obvious choice for long writing sessions. The pen has a relatively thick grip section and no step, making it very comfortable in the hand. It is functional, reliable, and beautiful- you'll love writing with it!
Midori Stitched Notebook - A5, Lined $15. This notebook is the smallest suggested, but the paper quality makes up for size. You'll love filling all 176 beautiful pages with your handwritten prose.
Pilot Iroshizuku Take-sumi - Bamboo Charcoal $28. Beautiful, bold, and black this ink comes in a gorgeous bottle to boot. It has excellent flow and will write well across your favorite paper. You won't regret choosing this one.
Caran d'Ache Vibrant Green $33.20. A strong emerald green with just a hint of blue, Caran d'Ache Vibrant Green will stand out. This gorgeous green ink has little feathering but excellent flow. Fill up your notebook, or use it for editing- either way you're going to love writing with this ink!
You can find all these tools (and many more) at Gouletpens.com. Want to find the collection easily or mix and match some of these products? Shop our nifty Shopping Guide.
Are you participating in NaNoWriMo this year? What pen, paper, and ink do you use for long writing sessions?
The Goulet Pen Company Team