I Found the Pen of My Dreams
After a long day of work, I decided to get a fountain pen. I’d been reading about writing letters (I know, a little weird, but more on that at a later date), and the author mentioned writing materials. That included a fountain pen if you were feeling fancy.
I’m new to the pen store game. Like there’s really stores around that only sell pens?!! Yes, there are, and there’s quite a few in New York City. Off I went and walked about a mile to this store in SoHo I found through Google called LAMY. I had zero clue what to expect. Never heard of it whatsoever. I was just eager at how the antiquated gadget worked. I once tried to work a fountain pen when I was a kid from a calligraphy kit I got at the bookstore, but I couldn’t figure out how to make it write, so I gave up instantly.
The guy at the store who helped me out was very knowledgable, and his direction for making the pens write was just to make sure the tip pointed down. And whaddya know? It worked! Since that was out of the way, I wanted to learn more about Lamy. Like, how do you pronounce the damn thing??
It’s Lah-me. And it’s German.
I tried out a couple fountains they had – the Safari and the Joy – in different size nibs. Nibs are the size of the pointed end of the pen, like extra fine and medium. I tend to write in extra fine, but I loved the way the Joy was writing. The Joy is not only a fountain pen, but it’s a calligraphy pen. The main difference is that the nib has a more flattened end rather than a pointy one. It was also thicker, so a medium or more bold point over extra fine like I was used to.
I learned about ink cartridges, converters (what is needed in order to use a bottle of ink), luxe pens… Listen, pens are a THING, and there’s gold fountain pens that cost thousands of dollars. Handmade pens that cost thousands of dollars.
Well, I was skeptical yet excited to drop $32 on the Joy. I also grabbed some black and purple cartridges. (The pen only came with blue, and I tend to write in black ink.) The thicker the nib is, the faster the ink will run out. Kind of like, duh, but I wouldn’t have thought about it if it wasn’t explained to me that way.
I was dog tired when I got home. My feet burned and I needed to shower and take my ass to bed. But I really wanted to try my new pen out. So I grabbed my journal, which I hadn’t written an entry in about two weeks at that point.
Because I’m extra and wearing this retro app out, here’s a transcription:
May 22, 2019
Is this thing on?
Writing with a calligraphy pen. Oh yea! Never thought this would be happening but I feel so fancy and old-fashioned. Thank you, Lamy Pens for making this easy. What a way to end my day. Now all I need is some candlelight.
Grateful for the day, but my feet hurt. Logged in so many miles this past week. I need a foot rub bad, bad. Sun had finally been out. Grateful about that too, goodness. I want to write more, but I desperately need to go to bed.
The next day, I got home around 5 after work, which is much earlier than I had been when I made my way into the city lately. So I journaled. I did about two-and-a-half pages without even thinking about it. The day after that I wrote four pages. A couple days after that I wrote six pages. I felt so happy to write! Was the Joy giving me joy??
I’ve always loved my handwriting. I find it beautiful, artistic, and clear. Call me vain, but I can stare at my handwriting all day. It’s gorgeous.
May 25, 2019
I think I’m just super excited about using this beautiful pen.
I noticed that I was journaling without forcing myself like I was doing previously. Journaling has its benefits, but knowing doesn’t mean doing. And I wasn’t doing before. With the fountain pen, I was getting everything out. Funny enough, I hold back when journal sometimes, but now I was vomiting all over the pages. Not giving a fuck. And it felt really good.
Since May 22, I’ve journaled 23 pages. That’s about two-and-a-half pages a day. I’ve had this journal since March 9, and got through 23 pages in almost three months. Huge difference! And I feel so much better. Not as overwhelmed or anxious. My nervous system is thanking me – I know it.
I’ve fallen in love with writing by hand! Here are some things I’ve googled and pages I’ve visited since writing with a fountain pen:
writing by hand
writing nonfiction by hand
writing a book by hand
I also discovered that all that writing I’m doing truly is a benefit from writing with a fountain pen. From author Wendy Van Camp in The Writing Cooperative:
The more I wrote with the ballpoints, the more my hand cramped. I googled about writing and learned that fountain pens need not press onto the page as you write. You hold them at an angle that is more comfortable for the hand. You could write more words and for a longer time with a fountain pen than with a ballpoint.
I feel like I’m in the fountain pen world now, but I don’t want to go overboard (as you can see from my Google searches). I have a tendency to do that. At this moment, because I’ve gotten such satisfaction from writing more so far, I don’t see myself going back to the old pens. To be quite honest, I want to chuck all my pens out the window. And I’ve got so many. Just kick ‘em down the stairs and shit.
But that’s me being dramatic, again. They’ve served their purpose. Thank you. *Bows deeply*
I finally had to change my ink cartridge today. It took 23 pages in my personal journal and 10 pages in my bullet journal for it to run out. Now I’m writing with black, but I already miss the blue ink. I’m going to get some blue cartridges. And I like that it’s cost effective too! I can keep using the pen over and over, and just get refills in all different colors. I can even switch out the nib. I feel like it makes the deal sweeter.
While I’d love to say that I’m going to keep the new habit and writing up, I don’t want to jinx myself. But I will say I’m getting pleasure from it, and I couldn’t be more grateful.