The Power of the Pen by Bren Kyveli

The pen is an instrument of discovery rather than just a recording implement.

-Billy Collins

sharpie-stainless-steel-pen-blueskypapers-1 (1)

Holding a pen in my hand is like having a magic wand with the power to turn the images, emotions, and ideas in my imagination into a tangible and shareable piece of literature. There’s something organic and pure and cathartic in using a real pen that you can’t get from a lifeless keyboard.

However, not any old pen found in the junk drawer will do. It has to be a specific one, the perfect one. Like how the wand chooses its master in Harry Potter, so too the pen chooses its author.


Unlike writing with a keyboard, the pen offers no distractions. No email notifications, no news feed updates, no social media pings. Just you, the Tangible Thought Creator in your hand, and the paper.

However, there’s no deleting with the pen. Mistakes and thought changes must be physically marked out, and this makes the page look messy. For me the messiness is utter torture. So I’m more careful with spellings, word choices, phrasings, and even content. The sound of the tip gliding across the page, the feint scent of the ink, the way the muscles in my hand simply remember the feel and shape of each letter, produce a far superior end product and in a shorter amount of time than a hacking away on a keyboard.

The idea for this blog post has been rolling around in my head for weeks now. But every time I sat down in front of the laptop, or opened the WordPress app on my phone I fell into the vicious circle; stare, type a few words, second guess myself, delete… repeat. But as soon as I picked up my purple Sharpie pen and my graph paper notebook, the vague idea became a tangible narrative.

Last summer, I started entering in writing competitions. And part of the challenge was to tell a thousand word story in only forty-eight hours. That first contest entry was when I realized just how powerful the pen really is. I had six hours left until my deadline, and not one single thing worthy of human eyes. So I picked up my purple Sharpie pen and a notebook and quite literally closed my eyes, (well, squinted it still had to be neat and stay between the lines) letting the pen work its magic. Within a few hours, I went from no entry and frustrated tears to a solid story. I still had to transcribe it into the word document of course, but that allowed me to edit and tweak as I went.

That process sent me through two more rounds of the contest, one of which was the inspiration for the novel I’m currently working on. Since then, I take a pen (yes, the purple Sharpie one) to anything I decide to write; blog posts, contest entries and even novel chapters. I now have two-thirds of an entire book written… all by hand, all with a pen.

Maybe the pen really is mightier than the sword technology… Why not try it for yourself and see?



Bren Kyveli is a stay at home mom of a spirited two year old little girl and a couple of rescued mutts. She’s been happily married to her high school sweetheart for twelve years now. She’s had a deep love for the written word since she was a toddler; reading everything she could get her hands on and writing in a fancy journals with a pretty pens. Bren writes contemporary Romance and Erotica in the hours left at the end of the day when the house has gone to sleep, some of which you can find over at

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