The world of ink and nib can be both intimidating and exciting for fountain pen beginners. While there are many ways on how to start and stay in the hobby, here are some issues that pen noobs should know at the start.
- Your first pen will not be your only pen. Sure, your entry level pen is a dream to write with, or that high tier pen you got feels like nothing will be better than it. But you will always find that other pen which will catch your fancy. There is no such thing as pure loyalty in fountain pens, at first anyway. Besides, who settles with just one pen? There are too many nib and ink combinations to try!
- You will lose/break a pen. I lost a handful of Platinum Rivieres from Daiso and one Pilot Prera which I sentimentally bought from Japan during a post-grieving trip. Losing a pen, no matter how much you got it for, is never painless. It’s just that Daiso pens are less painful. Also, no matter how careful you are, you will accidentally drop that pen uncapped, spilling ink on the floor and damaging the nib. Cracks will happen, and they will bother you for quite some time until you have the damages fixed or just ditch the pen altogether. But know that you can still save nibs, but that is a topic for another week.
- You will stop using certain pens. And it won’t even be intentional. It’s just that you will realize that you prefer some pens over others. Same goes with some ink bottles you got. Sometimes, you have to let some of them go to a fountain pen beginner who will be happy to take them off your hands.
- Great pens can be found on the second-hand market. Speaking of letting go, some of the pens that end up on second-hand markets such as Fountain Pen Palengke are of good quality. There are many success stories of fountain pen users finding “the one” from eBay, or from another member of Fountain Pen Network-Philippines or Palengke. What makes the latter more ideal is that you are almost certain that the pen is in good condition when sold to you, and that the seller is just in the Philippines. The second-hand market is also a good option for fountain pen beginners, since you can definitely get a pen cheaper than store prices.
- Your pens may be special, but what your moments with them are much more worth it. Write with your pens. Or display them. Just don’t hide them at your house, never to see the light of day. Let ink run through its feed. Let them bleed. If you’re the type who has no plans of using your pen, that’s okay. Show off its beauty, appreciate the thinking behind its creation, and make sure it is in one piece for your descendants to see and appreciate in a possible future where handwriting is an ancient art.
- Learn to find your inner peace. There will always be better pens and inks than what you have, but you don’t have to buy them all. Aside from using up all your space and money, it would be good to eventually target specific pens that you will concentrate on. Some collectors stop when they complete their set of grail pens. It is possible to stop buying pens yet continue with the hobby.
- Some people will never get it. I’ve had a couple of folks go “your fountain pen can’t make your handwriting better” while in class. Well, I was scribbling in a hurry so that was pretty obvious. Some will also find them a waste of money compared to ballpoint pens (then you can argue that ballpoints are actually much more wasteful than fountain pens). In the end, what matters most is your comfort in using a fountain pen.