I had always been the type to have my pen roll filled to the brim as I left the house.
six, seven, eight-plus pens all inked up and ready to go! This all had to change on a recent trip overseas where I limited myself to just two pens… It was hard to choose but in the end, I found it to actually be very liberating!
Since I have returned home, I have continued this minimalist fountain pen loadout, restricting myself to using only one pen per week! I wasn’t sure how long it would last, but I have surprisingly enjoyed sticking to my one pen and ink per week. This has all come at a time when I have tried to make a conscious effort to use the pens and inks in my collection more, instead of always looking for something new. I believe this is a trend that many people in the community are going through as the market becomes more saturated.
I have made a list of things I have learned from this process and why you should consider using one pen per week.
1) You get to give each pen the attention it deserves
I don’t know about you, but I can’t help but feeling like there are just some pens and inks that I haven’t got to know as well as I should. I am guilty of picking my favourites and not really giving anything new a chance. Knowing this, I have consciously been choosing pen and ink combinations that I would never have considered in my regular loadout. Through this process, I have really got to find out which pens and inks are my favourites and which I can do without.
So don’t hold back with your selection of pen for the week, you may just be pleasantly surprised if you give a shunned pen the chance to shine!
2) Tools… not jewels
Whilst this does not apply to every pen, because some really are priceless… this challenge has taught me that it is OK to take my special pens outside of their three layers of bubble wrap. For instance; before deciding to use my Omas Paragon for a week straight, it had never actually left my desk! For a solid year now, it has sat patiently, only really being used to write a letter or get its photo taken. In that week, I took the Omas everywhere (albeit in a pen sleeve in a case) and despite some initial anxiety, the pleasure it gave me to use on a daily basis was worth it!
This challenge has taught me that my pens are made to be used, not just ogled at from their air-tight dome…
3) What fountain pen loadout do I really like?
Using a pen every day for a week means that you really get to learn its nuances. Long form writing, jotting notes, shopping lists etc. are great tests of a pen, so I now know where each of my pens strengths lie! I think when I do go back to a larger loadout, it will definitely be a refined carry because, through this process, I have really figured out what I love for each particular use case and what I can’t stand (I’m looking at you Omas… 3.5 turns to uncap is not ideal when taking notes!).
4) Cut down on your pen related spending!
As part of this challenge, I endeavoured to use only pens and inks in my collection and hold off on any pen related purchases until I have cycled through all of my pens! This has meant I have not spent any money on fountain pens or ink this year and can save up and wait until something really special comes along. I have so many great pens and inks that need to be used more before I can justify a new toy. This process has been healthy (for the wallet mainly) and it is a great way gain that extra bit of self-control and save up for something special enough you will love it for years to come!
5) You are excited at the end of each week!
It has become a ritual that every Sunday night I sit down and select my pen and ink combo for the week and clean out my last pen. As I have been using just one pen for the week, I often find myself thinking ahead to the next week’s pen with gleeful excitement! I had not been as excited to use my Lamy 2000 since the day it arrived in the mail.
This excitement and anticipation came at the end of each and every week, and it made me really appreciate each of pens to a level I had not since they were brand new.
So if things are getting a bit stale or out of control in your collection, I highly recommend that you try a ‘one pen (or even just two if you need to!) loadout’ for just a few weeks and see how it changes the way you think about your collection!
Let us know if you try this and how you get on with the challenge.
Look forward to some more exciting articles and reviews up on the blog in the coming weeks.