I like to write. Most of the time it’s on a computer, but some things need a tactile approach. I’m also a tad bit old fashioned when it comes to planning anything out. So I use pen and paper. I always get a sense that the ideas are clearer with something tangible in front of me. There are probably studies regarding this but I’m far too lazy to look it up.

But, I take it another step and use a fountain pen. Why? Is it because I’m an insufferable pretentious person? Yes, but there are other reasons too. Do they outweigh the pretension? Probably not.

Here’s the thing about a fountain pen. It is one hundred better for writing. I write by hand a lot. I used to use cheap Bic pens, and the Pilot G-2’s but a decent fountain pen surpasses all of them. A typical pen will drag across the paper, but a fountain will glide on a tiny bead of ink. It makes it much easier for long periods.

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Photo of a poem I wrote: Author’s Photo

There’s a bit of a learning curve, but if you get a halfway decent pen the curve shrinks considerably. You have to keep it a more precise angle, but it will improve your handwriting. I was lucky enough to be blessed with halfway decent handwriting, but I’ve seen people with illegible writing improve greatly.

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The pen doesn’t actually bleed. I just held it there too long trying to take the picture. Picture: Me

Benefits of a Fountain Pen

Fountain pens give you a lot more options than a regular pen. There are literally thousands of different inks that can be used. everything from deep, rich, blues to fiery reds. Buying ink by the bottle is more economical too.

If you don’t to go through the hassle of using bottle inks, then you can get cartridges. The bigger brands have several options. It’s also helpful to have cartridges on hand just in case you run out of ink while away from home.

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My pen and notebook : Picture: me

Recommended Starter Pen

One of the biggest knocks against fountain pens is that they’re expensive. But, there are great fountain pens for cheap out there. Usually, people say the Pilot Metropolitan is the best starter pen, and I agree. Though. I’ve only tried it. I don’t own one. But, I bought a Pilot MR retro which is the European name for the same pen, so I feel safe recommending it. This is my favorite pen. I use it several times a day. It has the feel of a fountain pen, but the utility of a ballpoint. Plus, it’s only 15 bucks. I wouldn’t use anything else. I have other pens, but this is the one I grab every day.

Matthew Donnellon is a writer, artist, and sit down comedian. He is the author of The Curious Case of Emma Lee and Other Stories.

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