Harry Marks takes the written word seriously, as you can tell by his writing at Curious Rat, and with Covered, his podcast described as a “conversation about books with the people who write them.” My thanks to Harry for answering Three Questions.
1. What role do analog tools such as pens, pencils, and paper play in your day to day life?
I view analog tools as life preservers on a digital current. There are new social networks and services popping up every day and whenever one starts to gain traction, I think, Is this necessary? Is it useful to me? More and more, I find myself immediately answering, “No.” My notebook will never be bought by Google. My pen doesn’t need VC funding to keep running. My typewriter doesn’t have to worry about being “the Uber of words.” I’m simplifying my life with analog tools. Simple is good. I hope to increase my use of analog tools this year by hand-writing more letters to friends and keeping correspondence via post instead of email or Twitter.
2. What are your favorite products you are currently using?
Right now, I use a Midori Traveler’s Notebook as my reading journal and general keeper of random notes (which are kept nice and even thanks to line guides from The Well-Appointed Desk). I like to transcribe passages from books I’m currently reading that I find particularly beautiful or resonate with me. My pen of choice is the 0.3mm Pilot Hi-Tec-C, which I used to write the entire first draft of my last novel. I wrote the book in a large Moleskine notebook, but I’ve got a brand new Baron Fig Confidant on my desk just waiting for my next one. I’m hoping to get into Tomoe River Paper soon - there’s a small online shop that makes Traveler’s Notebook-compatible Tomoe notebooks. When I’m not writing my fiction by hand, I’m drafting it on my trusty Smith-Corona typewriter from the 1950s. I love that beast of a machine.
3. What post are you the most proud of on your blog?
My essay on the 2014 BookCon is the post of which I’m proudest. The cohost of one of my favorite podcasts, Books on the Nightstand, read it and tweeted back to me, "LOVE your post; full of awesomeness. If that's any indication of your novel in progress, close your twitter and get to work!” which is exactly what I did. The kicker? She’s a sales person for Random House, so she reads A LOT of books and her compliment carries a lot of weight for me. Ever since I moved away from reporting on tech and focusing more on books and writing, I’ve become happier with the quality of the content I share, as well as the writing I post to the site.