Sunday, July 22 , 2018, 2:19 pm | Fair 77º


Paul Burri: The Secret to the Creation of Sharper Ideas

My point is, I love needle-sharp pencils and the promise they hold

I love pencils. Long, yellow, No. 2 wooden pencils. Needle-sharp pencils. Pencils with a new eraser on the end. I love the feel of them. I love the smell of them. I love the look of them.

But most of all, I love the promise of them.

I’m a writer and a designer.

I write about whatever comes to my mind. I’ve been known to complain about things. I write about the dumb things we all do and the stupid conventions that sometimes lock us into rigidity in our thinking. I write about feelings. I write about business and the many mistakes I made over the years. I write about memories — some good, some not so good. I write about things I regret and the things I wish I could do over. And I sometimes remember a few of the good things I did and write about them, too.

I also design things — things such as bookends, wooden bowls, “projects,” domino sets, simple machines, tools, inventions and products for my business, and sometimes I design useless gadgets just for the fun of it.

When I start one of my designs or one of my essays, I collect a handful of those wonderful yellow pencils. For me, having a handful of needle-sharp pencils promises that something will come out of it all. And it almost always does.

That’s why I love pencils — long, yellow ones with new erasers and freshly sharpened points

By the way, my mind works much better with sharp ones. Dull pencils don’t work well at all.

— Paul Burri is an entrepreneur, inventor, columnist, engineer and iconoclast. He is not in the advertising business, but he is a small-business counselor with the Santa Barbara chapter of Counselors to America’s Small Business-SCORE. The opinions and comments in this column are his alone and do not represent the opinions or policies of any outside organization. He can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Click here for previous Paul Burri columns. Follow Paul Burri on Twitter: @BronxPaul

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