From Brain Pickings:
Edgar Allan Poe believed that handwriting is an indication of character, revealing our “mental qualities.” Mary Gordon saw in its “flesh, blood and the thingness of pen and paper” a reminder that “however thoroughly we lose ourselves in the vortex of our invention, we inhabit a corporeal world.” Indeed, the marks we leave on the paper are our most human trails of thought. Few things exercise — and exorcise — the not always seamless collaboration between brain and body like that direct line between the tip of the pen and the tip of the neuron. To be particular about one’s writing instrument is, then, to be particular about thought itself — one can’t afford to be careless about the corporeal transmitter of creative flow.
John Steinbeck (February 27, 1902–December 20, 1968) captures this curious role of the pen as a negotiator between brain and body in a series of disarming observations in Working Days: The Journals of The Grapes of Wrath — that remarkable volume that gave us a glimpse of how the great writer used the diary as a tool of discipline and a hedge against self-doubt when he embarked on the most intense writing experience of his life, the masterwork that earned him the Pulitzer Prize and paved the way for his Nobel Prize.
. . . .
In mid-July of 1938, three weeks into the work, Steinbeck makes an endearing note of his writing companion — that trusty conduit of thought:
This good pen holds up beautifully. I guess it will last out the entire book.
Then, on July 25, he records the growing intimacy with his writing instrument:
This pen writes thinner if it is steeper. This has been a good pen to me so far. Never had such a good one.
By mid-August, he is fully in love:
What a wonderful pen this is. It has and is giving me perfect service — never stops flowing for a second and never overflows and blots a word.
Link to the rest at Brain Pickings and thanks to Barb for the tip.