fountain pens and inks: last year’s obsession

A little over a year ago, Mr. Saturn finally got me into fountain pens and inks. The advantage is that I don’t need to press on the paper at all, just glide the pen over it. Fountain pens are not an expensive habit unless you’re in it for fashion/jewelry. Some of my favorite pens are under $15 and they should last me many years. A fill of ink will cost anywhere from fifteen cents to seventy-five cents. That tends to last me at least ten pages, given that I use medium or bold nibs. I keep a half dozen pens so I can alternate between colors (useful for editing). My biggest expense in writing longhand continues to be paper, as I like pretty covers and shiny paper. But CVS puts out some worthwhile spiral-bound notebooks that I can use fountain pens with.

If you’re not sure if you want a pick up a Pilot Varsity for $3.50 (in the US). It’s disposable, and then if you like it, you can explore further. My favorite value for money is the Platinum Prefounte. $12, refillable, and a comfortable experience. The only problem is that an ink converter so you can use bottled ink is an additional $9.

I started writing longhand to see if I wrote different words when I had a different kinesthetic experience. What I found was that it is very difficult to fast draft by hand, but it’s more restful to write background material and plan timelines, plots, and scenes without looking at a screen. I’ll continue with this hybrid approach more this year as I get back to drafting.