The joy of writing with fountain pens

I think I last wrote with a fountain pen a few decades ago (showing my age!), back when I was a kid in school, and writing with fountain pens was mandated in my school (I’m pretty sure that was the case, because I hated fountain pens back then but still had to use them). They ink left marks on my hands, I would keep running out of ink, it was not easy to write very fast…painful. My guess is that we were asked to use ink pens because they force a nicer handwriting.

Since that time, I’ve only ever used ball point pens or roller pens to write. I don’t think I’ve paid any special attention to the pens I use to write, except that they should be easy enough to write with.

Until recently, when I heard Neil Gaiman’s podcast on the Tim Ferriss show (Neil Gaiman is the author of The Sandman, Coraline, Stardust, to name a few). One of the questions that Tim asks Neil is whether Neil has any important rules or practices around his writing process. Here’s what he says:

Most of the time, not always, I will do my first draft in fountain pen, because I actually enjoy the process of writing with a fountain pen. I like the feeling of fountain pen. I like uncapping it. I like the weight of it in my hand. I like that thing, so I’ll have a notebook, I’ll have a fountain pen, and I’ll write. If I’m doing anything long, if I’m working on a novel, for example, I will always have two fountain pens on the go, at least, with two different colored inks, at least, because that way I can see at a glance, how much work I did that day. I can just look down and go, “Look at that! Five pages in brown. How about that? Half a page in black. That was not a good day. Nine pages in blue, cool, what a great day.”

Neil Gaiman on the Tim Ferriss show

After decades of writing with cheap ball point pens, this reminded me of fountain pens. And you know how it is – once you notice something, you start seeing it everywhere? Well – I then saw this gorgeous photograph from the Peg & Awl team, and the fountain pens looks absolutely gorgeous (that journal looks amazing too).

From Peg & Awl

And so I was like, ok, I think I want to give fountain pens a try one more time.

And omg, they’re such a joy to write with! A fountain pen, unlike a ball point pen, is so smoooth to write with. The pen almost glides across the paper. For anyone who enjoys writing or journaling, fountain pens can make the process so much more pleasurable. Since getting my fountain pen, I’ve been writing stuff even when I don’t have to, just so that I can write with it 🙂

Writing with fountain pens

I guess these small little details can really brighten up your day 🙂 If you like writing, I highly recommend getting yourself a fountain pen!

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