How Neil Gaiman Got Hooked by Handwriting

Ink Pens by TMAB2003

Photo by TMAB2003 via Creative Commons

As someone who spends hours at her computer writing, the only thing I write by hand are lists. My to-do list and my grocery list. Sometimes notes. It’s just one less step for me to type my articles. However, I do miss writing my articles by hand and my handwriting has suffered through lack of use.

I recently learned that Neil Gaiman writes his books with a nice fountain pen (the Pilot Custom 823) by long hand.

From Tulsa World:

When Neil Gaiman began work on his novel “Stardust,” he decided to try something different.

“I was trying to write a story that I wanted to have the rhythm of something that might have been written in the 1920s,” Gaiman said, “and I loved the idea of how writing by hand might affect the story being told.

“That’s when I got hooked on writing by hand. To me, typing is like work. Writing with a pen is like playing. And you can write on planes when they’re taking off and landing.”

This is my favorite part:

When Gaiman set out on what he has said was his final book-signing tour, for his 2014 novel, “The Ocean at the End of the Lane,” he purchased a special pen for the purpose.

“It was a Pilot Custom 823, which is a rather expensive pen,” he said. “It has this little screw thing at the end that keeps it from leaking on airplanes.”

Gaiman used the pen, filled with a dark red ink that had the color of blood, to sign some 5,000 sheets that were inserted into copies of “The Ocean at the End of the Lane.”

I wish I’d gotten my hand on one of those blood red inserts!

I’ve always thought about getting a fountain pen like Gaiman’s preferred Lamy 2000 or the fancy Pilot Custom 823. With my budget I better stick to this one. (Those are affiliate links)

Do you write your stories by hand?

Read the rest of the interview at  Tulsa World.

READ MORE: My review of The Ocean at the End of the Lane