If you have some extra free time on your hands lately due to Coronavirus-related closures and cancellations, for many that means more time to enjoy using your fountain pens! Unfortunately, many people have a hard time figuring out what to do with their pens, so I’m here to give you a few suggestions. While hopefully not everyone reading this is in any type of quarantine, I’m sure some people will be spending more time at home than they’re used to and will still find it helpful.
How To Use Your Fountain Pens More Often
First off, if you haven’t done it yet, take a look at my series of blog posts that cover different ways to use your fountain pens more often. Some suggestions include writing in a journal, writing letters to penpals, doodling and stream of consciousness writing.
Journaling can be an especially effective way of dealing with thoughts and emotions that you may be having lately. There is quite a bit of confusion, frustration, conflicting information and general uncertainty going around. Getting it out of your head and into a journal may help when you just need to let go for a while.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Another great way to spend some quality time with your fountain pens is to work on improving your handwriting. This is one of those things that definitely will not happen overnight, so having plenty of time to practice is essential if you want to get results. If you’re already happy with your handwriting, you could always mix things up and try learning a new writing style.
Start An Ink Journal
If you’re like most fountain pen users, you’ve got a lot of inks. Maybe you should think about creating an ink journal. I created mine years ago and refer to it fairly often. Every time I get a new ink I create a page for it and every time I ink up a pen I create a writing sample so I know how that particular pen and ink combination look together.
Cleaning Your Fountain Pens
Proper hand hygiene is more important than ever these days, so you may be thinking about the surfaces that you touch more often as well. While cleaning a countertop, doorknob or even computer keyboard may be fairly straightforward, cleaning the outside of a fountain pen requires a bit more caution. Fountain pens come in many different materials, so there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach, but I can offer some pointers that will work for almost any pen you may have:
- Do not use bleach, alcohol or bleach or alcohol-based cleaning products (such as hand sanitizer or cleaning wipes), as these can severely damage the materials and finishes of fountain pens.
- Avoid prolonged contact with water for sensitive materials such as hard rubber.
- While washing your hands for 20 seconds is recommended, I’d suggest avoiding washing your fountain pens under a running faucet.
- In general, a gentle wipe with a damp cloth (water only) should be the most you want to do for your fountain pens.
- If you are concerned about pen cleanliness, the best thing you can do is thoroughly wash your hands before handling your pens.
A Shameless Plug
If you’ve got some spare time on your hands and want to try out some new papers, consider picking up one of my fountain pen friendly paper sample packs. These are full of various papers that your fountain pen will love (and hopefully you will too). There’s nothing much more exciting than finding some paper that you’ve never tried before and absolutely love writing on.
To close, be sure to stay safe and keep those hands washed. None of us have ever experienced anything like this before, but if we all do our part, we’ll get through it together. Have fun with your pens!