The Magic Pencil

When I was young, I’d look at a pencil and think it was magical. I imagined all the words the pencil could write, all the stories it could create. Then I thought of all the magic pencils out in the world and all the books they had written. I wanted a magic pencil of my own so I could create that magic. Of course, I  realized the magic wasn’t in the pencil, but I never imagined I could posses that magic. I had always thought it belonged to others.

When I was giving a talk the other night at a local university, I was asked the question: “How do you keep on writing when it is such a difficult business?”

My response was simple: I told my story about the magic pencil. Then I said something along the lines of  “If you hold onto that pencil and the magic you feel when writing, you will always find inspiration and a desire to continue creating stories.”

So, hold onto your pencil, or whatever inspires you, and keep on writing.


Image courtesy of digitalart /



  1. Love the magic pencil! As a child, and to this day, I get a little giddy in the stationery aisles of stores. The reams of paper, the copybooks, the spiral notebooks, the pens (I wasn’t big on pencils)… It’s like I am surrounded with an awesome amount of potential energy, just waiting to be unleashed and fill all those empty pages with words and worlds and people.

  2. Nice story. I think we all have our little magic pencils. I find that I have to handwrite my notes only on white unlined paper with a Uniball Vision pen.

    • I agree, each author has his or her own magic pencils. If I wrote on unlined paper with a pen, it would end up a huge mess, and because I’m left-handed I’d have ink all over my hand. Congrats on the release of Model Position, Catherine – it sounds like a great book.

  3. What a great story and so true.

  4. I want to fly on the magic pencil! Let’s all take a ride together. I love how you brought the magic of childhood back around to adulthood. We can hold on to that magic. It doesn’t have to disappear.

  5. Thanks for sharing this at the Coffeehouse Sunday too. Great.

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