top of page

Three States of a Pencil

A pencil is useful when it's sharp.

But not too sharp, because then as soon as you start using it, it will break.

Let's explore a few different states of a pencil.

In Use

When you're actively using the pencil, you have a desired sharpness in mind, based on the task at hand.

With every stroke, the gap between your desired sharpness and the actual sharpness, grows. The pencil becomes blunt with extended use.

Overuse can cause the pencil to break.


With use, the pencil needs sharpening.

Sharpening takes time and that time is very useful because without that time, the pencil would be of no use.

Like overuse, over-sharpening can also cause the pencil to break.


This is the in-between state.

The pencil is not being used nor being sharpened.

While it isn't necessarily useful in this state, the longer it remains in this state, the longer it survives.

Put another way, the longer the pencil remains idle, the more opportunities it has to be useful.


You are a pencil.

What state are you in?

Forest green background with a white outline of a pencil in the middle

bottom of page