A friend of mine sent this to me the other day. Its an interview with comedian Jerry Seinfeld from a couple of years ago about this writing process.
It seems that he keeps it very simple when he’s working on jokes: A yellow legal pad and a blue Bic Cristal.
(This is worth watching also to hear him describe the construction of a Pop Tart joke.)
It’s funny – this is the second time in the last few weeks that I’ve heard about a well-known writer who turns out creative genius using the most humble writing instruments. You might remember we recently had a post about the late Elmore Leonard, who favored Scripto pencils and Pilot disposables.
Another comedian, Mitch Hedberg, was so partial to Uniball pens, he even wrote the company a letter suggesting a sponsorship.
These are guys who could afford to buy the priciest pens on the market, but found they were perfectly satisfied with something completely ordinary, like a Bic pen. They’re writers after my own heart, because I’ve always found a plain Pentel gel pen to be as good as anything else I’ve ever used.
Of course, not all well-known creative people go the modest route when choosing pens.
Stephen King famously called his Waterman fountain pen “the world’s finest word processor.” Neil Gaiman is well-known for his love of high-end fountain pens from Waterman, TWSBI and Visconti. Ed Norton, attending a Montblanc gala in New York, reportedly said he writes early drafts of screenplays in pen.
Since we’re talking about the pens used by creative types, the New York Times lifestyle magazine recently asked some famous designers – in architecture, jewelry, shoes, television and landscape – about their favorite pens.
Most of them were just simple Sharpies, Bics and assorted mechanical pencils.
So I say long live the humble disposable pen. It does a fine job of channeling creativity all around the world.