As a writer and a blogger I take the tools of the trade seriously. In a world saturated with devices offering digital content capture capabilities, the fail-safe pen and paper has taken a back seat as note-taking and authoring tools. The keyboard has its place, but so do analog tools such as pens, and paper as well.
There have been articles and suggestions that handwriting is facing a risky future. Even schools have taken a lackluster approach to penmanship. The keyboard is challenging the pen at every turn. And at every turn the fountain pen and handwriting keep rising to the challenges presented by technology.
I can tell you handwriting isn’t going anywhere anytime in the near future. Even if one-day society deems handwriting useless, it won’t go anywhere. If that was the case the pencil would have disappeared a long time ago.
I’ve always invested in my penmanship and never turn down the opportunity to use it.
A lot of the posts on Nouveau Perspectives began as drafts written with one of the many fountain pens I’ve collected over the years. Fountain pens promote the fluid transfer of thoughts and ideas from my brain through my fingers to paper via pen and ink. No, I don’t get the same connection using a keyboard or ballpoint pen.
I’ve always been partial to fountain pens because of their history and the character they take on if you hold on to them for a length of time. Fountain pens also have historic cred having been used by some great authors like Mark Twain, Neil Gaiman and Shelby Foote.
Ask any fountain pen user and they will tell you about the character of certain pens in their collection. There’s the pen whose nib likes certain papers, there is their favorite (EDC) every day carry pen, and there is the pen they have a love-hate relationship with – love using it despite some challenges it presents.
While the original concept of the fountain pen has changed over the centuries, fountain pen inks have evolved in a myriad of colors, viscosities, and permanency. If you’re a fountain pen user that carries a notebook and sweat is an issue then some of the waterproof / water resistant inks are a Godsend for you.
My go to inks are the Noodlers Bullet Proof inks. I carried a Field Notes Ale notebook this past summer in my jeans pocket while doing yard work in triple digit weather and while the notebook became soaked close to disintegration, the writing held solid. When it comes to record or journal keeping that requires longevity these inks are worth investing in.
Then maybe permanent writing is not a requisite for some and that’s cool. The array of hues fountain pen inks come in will certainly have something for your optical palate. Some folks match color with mood, notebook style, or genre of writing. Black and dark blue is often associated with business correspondence. Some of the brighter colors are the favorites of those that journal or fire off informal notes and letters. There are no hard and fast rules and that’s the beauty of the flexibility of writing with fountain pens. You can get outside of the box and your writing like your pen takes on a character that you and others can appreciate.
The awesome chart below is the work of the good folks over at PenChalet. It is an in-depth primer that the veteran fountain pen enthusiast and beginner alike will find interesting. If you’ve been looking for a certain ink to suit a certain environment or genre this chart is a great resource.
Tell me about some of your fountain pen experiences in the comment section.