There’s always a little bit of fear when trying something new. Just think about when you were a kid first learning to ride a bike. What about getting behind the wheel for the first time? Or starting a new job? Some of these fears diminish as we get older, but even as adults, these same nerves can often follow us. When you’re first getting into fountain pens, it can feel overwhelming. It’s more than just jotting down a few notes. It’s an experience. You might be asking yourself, how do I hold this pen? How do I fill it with ink? And most importantly, what do I do with all the ink on my hands? Thanks to the internet, the fountain pen community doesn’t have to be limited to geographic proximity. We’re able to share in this hobby from all across the globe. And all of us at Goulet Pens love getting to play a small part in helping to make that happen.
One of our company values is “empower through education.” We really enjoy introducing people to the enhanced writing experience. So, we asked our Facebook fans to share their pieces of advice and words of warning to fountain pen newbies. Whether you are just starting out using fountain pens, or you’re looking to get your friend hooked, these bits of wisdom will be invaluable to you. There was tons of input, so we selected only a few to share with you here. A big thank you to everyone who shared their wisdom with us and our Facebook community!
Advice and Words of Warning to Fountain Pen Newbies:
Rachel L. – …Join a fountain pen forum or FB group. learn from others. share. try try try!
Rob P. – Paper matters. Don’t be surprised if your new fountain pen writes too thick or if your new ink doesn’t shade like you see in online pictures. The cheap paper used in most offices is much too absorbent for fountain pen use. Do yourself a favor and pick up a few good pads of paper to enjoy the full fountain pen experience.
Carmel C. – You don’t need to spend the big bucks for a good pen. Get to know the pens you have before you buy more. Experiment with different inks and paper. Do some research before buying your pen. Look after your fountain pens.
Stephanie P. – Subscribe to ink drop or pick up a bunch of ink samples every few weeks, when you find one you love, buy a bottle, but not before then!
Maria A. – …Read up online, and learn about the different kinds of pens, the different filling systems, the different pen materials and the basics. It will pay off quickly. Apart from that, enjoy, have fun, and most of all: Never be afraid to use Google, and ask a lot of questions. We have all been newbies, and most are happy to help a new possible “penholic.”
Maeli Z. – Get a little notebook and start an ink journal. I started one after my second round of ink samples and it has been a great resource. May want to include a section where you can write the date, ink, and pen type each time you ink up a pen! (I was constantly forgetting which ink sample I’d put in which pen.)
Michelle W. – You might as well buy a 10-20 pen case, cuz you’re gonna fill that puppy up in no time flat.
Ruth S. – If you’re left-handed, don’t listen to people who tell you you can’t use a fountain pen because your writing style is “weird” or awkward. You can learn to use a fountain pen. It might take a little more time to find the pen-nib-ink-paper combination that best suits your personal writing style…
Allastair L. – Don’t be afraid to tinker.
Patrick T. – Buy the pen you want, not the pen other people tell you that you should want.
Kenneth H. – Budget, budget, budget, enjoy, enjoy, enjoy, learn, learn learn and welcome to a wonderful world of wonderful, sharing people.
LiAnn T. – Don’t procrastinate when your pens are empty. Clean them up!
Jason T. – Pick up a Pilot Metropolitan, a bulb syringe, and a bunch of ink samples.
Jeffrey G. – Just because it’s expensive doesn’t mean it is right for you.
Heather C. – Don’t get overwhelmed by all the choices…pick a pen and ink and go from there. Oh, and also, enjoy the adventure!
Shannon M. – Buy lots of paper towels.
Chris P. – Don’t fill your pen from a bottle of ink when there are toddlers or cats around!
Ceit D. – Ink happens, if you have a kitten, Ink happens on the floor, if you don’t cap it and put it back. Ink happens on your hands and everywhere else. Don’t be afraid of the ink and the mess it will make, embrace it –;)
Paul K. – Check and recheck that the lid is screwed back on before lifting the ink bottle. Otherwise you will have a real mess on your hands. Literally.
Hugh R. – There are no 100% leak-proof pens, so be very careful, guys, before inserting one in your oxford shirt pocket.
Thiago P. – Beware: beyond this purchase lays a whole new world. You will never have clean fingers again, and ink stains will have names on them.
Junee L. – Don’t leave your pens uncapped to roll off the table nib downwards and have the nib do a leg split afterwards.
David J. – Put the cap back on the ink bottle first.
Kenneth M. – Don’t shake your pen like a ballpoint if it is not writing. My office has a nice streak of Waterman Florida blue due to someone doing this.
Caitlin P. – …Do your research but realize what works for someone else may not be comfortable to you. Last but not least, have fun, enjoy.
What would you add to this list? Be sure to like us on Facebook so you can join in on our next conversation!
The Goulet Pen Company Team