Secret Pleasures: Writing and Pens
Little known fact that when I was in college, each year, I took great pleasure each semester going to the local stationer’s shop and buying supplies. Mechanical pencils, high quality fine point pens (all the better to write and rewrite equation sheets) and other beautiful things. Often from German companies, high quality pads of paper.
It wasn’t necessary for my success, but there is something very pleasing about high quality paper, and writing instruments.
I lost that focus after graduating, and even when I returned to grad school, I never got into that good place of writing. Work, life, and other things have interfered for a long time.
One thing I never got into was fountain pens. Of course, I knew they existed, but that they were either a) temperamental, or b) archaic and crusty.
In the mid 2000’s I had a lark to buy a fountain pen, and a cheap “starter” set from Waterman found its way into my possession. It was a simple, cartridge fed pen with a medium nib, not very stylish, or special, but it worked, and I used it daily for a couple of years.
Again, I drifted away, and it ended up in a drawer (and the ink dried in it and clogged it good) and forgot about it.
A few months ago, the bug bit again. I’ll be honest that I just found the old Waterman, and after soaking the nib for a few days to clear the crusty ink, bought some cartridges, and resurrected this pen.
Wrote my daily notes with it for a few weeks, and decided that I wanted to add a better pen to my daily routine.
Some searching and I found a place that specialized in writing implements (and yes, there are plenty of them) and after doing some research, I bought a $33 pen and some ink. The brand is TWSBI, and it is a Taiwanese maker, large ink reservoir with a piston filling mechanism, transparent Purple body, and I chose the “fine” nib.
Feeling that a total of about $50 (to get the free shipping) was a reasonable entry point.
It came in yesterday evening, and today I unpackaged it and filled it. It looks and feels very solid. I was worried that the fine nib would be hard to write with, but it is just the opposite. It is very precise, and easy to control. The ink flows well, and is very consistent in how it applies to paper. I write in printing (long story short, but my cursive is worse than a Dr’s scrawl), and this pen delivers crisp, well-defined letters with my technique.
I have started journaling in a Moleskin notebook, and the paper takes the ink well, not too much seepage.
It is new to me, but so far, I love this, and it makes writing enjoyable (if not fun).