Why You Need a $2 Wooden Pencil

Palomino Blackwing 602.

Can you imagine a pencil so glorious it has a first, middle, and last name? For $2 each, I guess they should.

To put that price into perspective, for those of you who think hey that’s half as much as a cup of coffee, the dozen yellow Dixon Ticonderoga pencils you shoved into your kid’s backpack at the start of the school year cost fourteen cents each. That dozen cost less than a single Blackwing 602.

But read the reviews.

“I had no idea a pencil could give me so much pleasure.”

“I’m addicted.”

“Truly a work of art.”

“Took my breath away.”

A pencil.

If it makes marks on the paper, it’s good enough, right?

Then how come we’ll pay $4 for coffee at Starbucks or have designer grinds for our French press at home? Best Beloved and I buy Barry’s tea, imported from Ireland, because we are convinced it tastes better than anything we can get in this country.

Is it? Who knows. Taste is subjective. What that means is our emotions are doing the deciding — beginning, middle and end.

It’s easy to look down our noses at folks foolish enough to pay $200 for a pair of sneakers or $1500 for a white laptop which we can get in black for $400.

Remember the emotions that were making those decisions a minute ago? They make all our decisions. We like to believe we’re rational creatures. Every researcher since they started researching has proven that decisions are made with emotion.

Writing is emotion. If writing were purely logical, there would be no sentence fragments. There would be no James Joyce. There would be no writing.

Writing is emotion. It is capturing feelings, sliding them across our brain to the place where they turn into words and come out our fingertips through our tool of choice, to be shared with others.

Writing is hard. If a $1500 MacBook makes it easier, I’ll use one.

If a $2 pencil will get you to write, buy a whole box.

5 thoughts on “Why You Need a $2 Wooden Pencil

    1. At first I saw them as a frivolous luxury. But after reading further in the comments, and thinking about it, I came to the conclusions I wrote here.

      And now I feel the same way: I want a box, too.

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