When I was in high school, I became fascinated with fountain pens. I bought them from office supply stores whenever I had the chance. They were messy, the ink didn’t dry fast enough for me (being left-handed) but I loved the scratching sound they made on the paper. I liked to look of the nib. The only things I didn’t like about them was: I could only find blue ink (I prefer black, and even then – the black they had never looked dark enough for me), and they only had the medium sized nib. I tend to write small, so a medium nib won’t make the letters legible. Soon after, I discovered Pilot G2 pens and the extra-fine point (.038) and I was off chasing the thin-lined dragon as it were.
Recently, I saw a friend of mine in my writing group using a fountain pen. I asked him where he got it, and he gave me the name of Goulet Pens (hmu guys for a sponsorship deal). Just out of curiosity, I went to the site later one and looked around. I bought two pens and a note pad for about $90. When I got everything, I admit I was skeptical. A fountain pen is a fountain pen, right? It’s not going to write as smooth as my Pilot.
I was joyously wrong! As soon as I dragged my new favorite pen across the paper:
All those old feeling of love of longhand writing came back. I’m writing a journal because I feel the need to grab one of the fourteen pens I own (I do not have a problem) and write with it. I tried the Diplomat Stealth blue pen and I wrote a quick note. It was wonderful! I’d even consider writing this blog in long hand and taking pictures of it to put on the site. I might even do that on a lark.
I went to the Internet to see if there were other retailers for inks. I found blogs, websites and message boards about fountain pens. Other pen and paper nerds like me carved spaces in the Web. I felt like I’ve found a new branch of my tribe. Through these wonderful people, I’e found other pens to sate my appetite, inks to use and papers suitable for writing. Not only have I come home, but I can now write nice looking letters to you.
Why am I writing about this? What does this have to do with writing? Tangentially, when I outline for novels I do it in longhand. Doing it with the fountain pen makes it easier, and I can do it much longer. There is another reason for this.
I spoke of passion. Passion can be taken and twisted and perverted. Unrestrained passion is maddening – I speak from experience on this – but passion aimed and properly bridled is a wonder to behold. I rediscovered my passion for long handwriting, and with it I am helping myself and my career.
Go out. Find your passion. Never let it go, never let others hijack it. Change the world with it.
Now, more than ever, we need that.