jinhao platinum 3776 writing and doodles

Putting Pen To Paper

John BosleyMiscellaneous 19 Comments

If you’ve been a regular follower of this blog for a long time, you may have noticed that I haven’t posted much in the past 6 months. Part of the reason for this is because of my career as a wedding photographer. This year was somewhat unprecedented in the wedding industry and it’s an understatement to say that I was swamped until mid November. Now that I’ve finally had a chance to catch my breath, I expect to be back to posting on a more regular basis.

While I was really busy this summer and pretty much absent from social media and this blog, that doesn’t mean I wasn’t using my fountain pens the entire time. In fact, I was using them on a regular basis, both for writing and for doodling! I even managed to make it to a few pen meetups, including the Colorado Pen Show. That’s what I want to talk about today… using your pens even if you’re not letting the world know about it.

Using Your Pens Regularly

Most of us have specific reasons for preferring fountain pens over other types of pens. Whatever your reason, there is always an opportunity to use a pen, even during the busiest of times. It may be to write to-do lists that will help keep you on task, to take notes on important calls, or journaling to organize your thoughts. If you’re like me, taking some time to doodle or draw can help relieve stress when you’re busy. Regardless of how you use your pens, putting pen to paper is valuable way to spend time for people like us.

jinhao wearingeul infinite cube doodle

It takes time to do a large doodle, but it doesn’t all have to be done at once.

It can be overwhelming to think about sitting down with your pens when the rest of your life is busy. Don’t give yourself excuses to not write! For some people, a sticking point may be filling a pen to write with. First you have to choose a pen, then an ink that goes with that pen. Other people may get ahead of themselves and get overwhelmed at the thought of having another pen to clean. Don’t do that to yourself! You surely have a favorite pen/ink combination, so when in doubt, default to that. Or maybe you can try a new random combination! And as for pens to clean, what’s one more? Dirty pens can wait.

fountain pen ink rikyu cha handwriting

Writing in a journal can take time but is quite relaxing.

Are you wondering how to use your pens? I have a series of blog posts specifically answering that question. I have found that when I’m really busy, I don’t even want to try and come up with something to write or draw. At times like that, simply drawing lines or scribbling on paper is enough. It’s amazing how relaxing and satisfying laying down a swath of ink and watching it dry can be.

fountain pen line practice

Sometimes drawing lines is all you have time for.

random fountain pen drawings

Doodles and scribbles with no purpose.

Keeping Up With The Hobby

For me, one of the first things that I stop doing when I’m busy is checking social media. I know that many people probably turn to social media as a way to escape, but I’m the opposite. Looking at pen-related posts on Instagram makes me realize how much I’m not writing or doodling and I get stressed out. It also overwhelms me when I see that new pens or inks are being released. Even if I don’t necessarily want them for myself, I still like to keep up on what’s happening in the industry, which I may not have time to do.

In the past 6 months, I hardly checked Instagram at all. While I know I missed out on a lot of things that the people I follow were doing, I just couldn’t muster the energy to dive in. I also missed out on a lot of industry information. For example, I missed the announcement that Cosmo Air Light was going to stop being produced. I also had never heard of Wearingeul inks until I was at the Colorado Pen Show and saw them at the Dromgoole’s table. I asked my friend Jesi (who was helping out at the table) what these new inks were and she let me know they were fairly new to the market. The things you miss when you’re not on social media!

What I Learned

Now that I’m back to checking social media somewhat regularly and writing blog posts, I can look back at these past months and see what I’ve missed. Fortunately, all of the new pens and inks are still out there and not going anywhere. I can browse through what people have posted on Instagram and catch up on what they’ve been up to. My biggest regret is that I didn’t have a bunch of blog posts already written so that I could continue to post throughout the year. That gives me a goal for the next wedding season.

j herbin bleu calanque fountain pen ink doodle

Sometimes a small doodle is enough.

I am happy that I kept up with writing and doodling, even at the busiest of times. It gave me something to look forward to and also helped me to de-stress. At times, it felt overwhelming and a little like a chore, but every time I found it to be worth it to sit down and put pen to paper. I hope that when you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed out, you can make the time to use your pens. In my recent experience, it is definitely worth it.

Comments 19

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  1. I simply keep a pen in my pocket every day, so writing/drawing with it is second nature. I also write notes and letters whenever I need to contact businesses.

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      I think you’re on to something there, Marc. Simply having a pen around will mean it gets used more often! I’d imagine a business receiving a handwritten letter gets more attention than a phone call or email ever would.

  2. Please gather all your doodles into one space. I was to show my daughter to encourage her.
    As it is, I’ll have to trawl through all your back pages to find them.

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  3. Thanks again for another great post, John. Those doodles look fun. I just realized that I doodle a bit when I test out pens after inking them. But I never thought about making it a conscious activity. That’s a great idea. However, my biggest problem is fountain pens drying out. I often get busy and don’t use all the pens I’ve inked up, then they dry out. So now I try to only ink pens with screw caps (no snap caps) and use brands of pens that are known for not drying out. For me, that means mostly sticking to TWSBI, Opus 88, and Pilot pens that have screw caps. I’m sure there must be other brands that don’t dry out, but I was told that Taiwanese and Japanese pens with screw caps tend to be better. It can be a bit frustrating though, because I don’t end up using my Pilot Prera which is one of my favorite pens. I guess I could keep the Prera in rotation if I remembered to doodle with it regularly, but I usually get busy and forget. Hey, that’s an idea for another blog post — how to prevent your pens from drying out.

    1. The Platinum Preppy and Plaisir (same pen, different case) are cheap, yet they can be inked and stored for a year then write immediately. They have pull caps, not screwed. Somebody has misinformed you. Pens dry out because of bad seals. One seal is the silicone inner cap. It might not seal well. If the pen is old or very badly designed then there might not be an inner cap.Design moves on.
      The other seal is where the cartridge or convertor fixes to the pen. The seal will be good enough to prevent ink escaping, yet may allow a gas to escape. I mean water vapour from the ink. This is where Platinum succeeds. Non-standard but superior fitting. You can re-fill the cartridge. If you buy Platinum’s cartridge adaptor for using 2.6mm cartridges then the pen will dry out because the special seal is lost.
      For old and/or unreliable pens that are inked, seal them in cling film. They won’t dry out..

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        1. John, I’m a guy.
          No, don’t wrap the threads. If you ink a pen which you know dries out within a week then cling film the whole pen to prevent drying. Take it off when you have time to doodle, or want to use that particular colour.

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            Oh dang, sorry about that. Just changed my reply.

            I never would have thought to wrap the entire pen, but that makes sense. I thought you meant to just wrap the threads to create a tighter seal. Looks like I’m 0-2 today!

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      You are most welcome, Terri. Definitely try and doodle more often. It’s one of those things that can quickly change from passive activity to obsession (in a good way). Noel has some good info in his comment about pens drying out. If you have found pens that you enjoy using that don’t dry out, that’s great, but most modern pens shouldn’t dry out when not in use. I think the biggest thing to look for is build quality. I’m surprised your Perea dries out. If it were a $5 Chinese pen, I wouldn’t be surprised.

  4. Could you recommend an 8 1/2 paper which works well with fountain pen ink? I’ve tried a few and have not had luck. Thanks!

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