Why Fountain Pens?
A question that I am sure all pen addicts get asked on a regular basis is "How did you get into fountain pens?" or "Why fountain pens?"
This is my pen addict origin story:
I have always had a penchant for writing utensils. Since I was just a little Chinn I had a stash of hotel pens and found pencils. I can't remember a day that I haven't left home without a Sharpie. Boy those are great! If you want to win points at a party where everyone has a water bottle (or Red Solo Cup) then whip out a trusty Sharpie. For some reason, somewhere, you will need a Sharpie... am I right?
... I digress...
A little over one year ago (at the time of this writing obvi) I made the decision to purchase my first house. The thing that everyone said to me then was something to the effect of "get ready to sign your life away." Or, "hope you have a wrist brace for all of that document signing!" Boom. Triggered. I needed a good pen! In my mind, something as monumental as purchasing your first house should not be done with a toss-away hotel pen. I really wanted a pen that counted and one that felt important. I wish I would have known then about the Visionnaire! (This is a sarcastic joke meant for followers of The Pen Addict Podcast. If you want to be in on the humor listen to this: https://www.relay.fm/penaddict/80.) This desire for a truly good pen resulted in my initial Google search for "best pens." Wherein, as you know, I discovered The Pen Addict blog www.penaddict.com. After a bunch of research and reading and review-video-watching, I went to Amazon.com and ordered the Pilot Metropolitan.
... I got antsy...
The day that I clicked that purchase button (March 22, 2016 to be exact, though I don't know why you would care) I was so antsy to try my first fountain pen that I headed to Staples to see if they had one. They did. I bought it. It was this one by Franklin Covey. I immediately popped in the ink cartridge, getting ink all over myself in the process, and started writing with it. I was in love. What was this magical world that I had not yet experienced? The pen was scratchy, and it was a gusher, overall the writing experience was actually really terrible, but I didn't care. The pen looked cool and it just seemed inexplicably better than most other pens. I wrote with this pen exclusively for three full days. Then I got mail. My Pilot Metropolitan. The packaging of this pen suggested that it might be better than that Franklin Covey. I opened it up, popped in the cartridge without getting ink all over myself, and put nib to paper. Woah. NOW I have a good pen. This feels as important as my first fountain pen did, it looks as important, and it writes as important. The tactile experience of that nib gliding across sub-par paper (I didn't know that it was sub-par at the time) was truly unlike anything else that I had ever experienced. I promptly cleaned out that other pen and put it in long-term storage where it has since remained.
It was this first really good fountain pen that is in it of itself the short answer to the question "Why fountain pens?" But, because the internet loves lists, I will wrap up this post with a few of the non-short-answer reasons why I continue to dive into the fountain pen world and why I love them:
- great writing experience
- does this sound nerdy? too bad. When you write with a ballpoint back to back with a fountain pen, you instantly realize the differences.
- When you look at the options within fountain pens, you might become gleefully overwhelmed. Would you like a metal body, wooden, acrylic, plastic, bone or antler? Would you like a big huge pen, or one you can slip in your pocket? Would you like a super colorful pen, or one that looks super professional? All of these options are available and this is just scratching the surface.
- What about ink? Holy cow, the list of the world's available fountain pen inks is incredible! Every possible color you could imagine. Do you want black ink? There are dozens of options for "black.? Blue, red, green, brown, fluorescent highlighter yellow? All available.
- We haven't even started the conversation of nibs... broad, super-ultra-mega-extra-fine, flexible, gold, steel, titanium, etc.
- conversation starter
- Using a fountain pen might get you some weird looks, but it is a very easy conversation starter. I love when people look at me funny and I can turn it around to teach them something.
- can help improve your handwriting
- can help minimize fatigue when writing
- I wrote about this in my "How to Become a Pen Addict" post. Go read it.