The fountain pen is my absolute favourite writing utensil. Unfortunately, it also has a bit of a bad rep! That bad rep is undeserved though as many complaints about fountain pen writing are completely untrue. So I am here to debunk the top 10 myths about writing with a fountain pen once and for all!
Here we go…
Debunking The Top 10 Fountain Pen Writing Myths
1. It’s Hard To Write With A Fountain Pen
Writing with a fountain pen is a slightly different style to writing with a ballpoint or a rollerball pen. It just takes a little bit of practice to position the nib of the fountain pen on the paper. But when you discover how easily the words flow from your hand you won’t ever write with anything else.
2. Fountain Pens Are Expensive
I have often heard people say that fountain pens are expensive and a waste of money. But they are actually quite the opposite. In fact they are a cost effective, high quality way to write. The initial purchase of the pen may cost more than a ballpoint or a rollerball, but you can simply refill it again and again. You will soon recoup the money on that initial outlay. And the ability to refill makes them more eco friendly than your average pen. You don’t have to throw the whole pen away when the ink runs out like a disposable pen.
3. The Ink Leaks All Over The Place
If your fountain pen is leaking then there is something wrong with the pen! The pens use a mixture of gravity and pressure on the page to release ink. It also comes with a cap to prevent the ink from drying out, but also stops the nib from touching anything. So, they won’t just leak ink while sitting there on your desk.
4. Fountain Pens Are Only For The Rich
This myth is probably one of the silliest I have heard. Fountain pens are owned by so many people worldwide, not just CEOs and those with a large disposable income. You can purchase a gorgeous brand new fountain pen for a little more than $50. That puts them well within the reach of anyone who wants to own one. (Especially as we offer Laybuy here at Notes To Self.)
5. Lefties Can’t Use Them
Left handed writers will have no more difficulty writing with a fountain pen than they will with a regular pen. Most of the issue is not with the pen itself, but the nature of the written English language. We write from left to right, so regardless of the pen being used, left handers can drag their hand through the words they have just written. Most left-handers have adopted a style of writing that instinctively prevents them from smudging their work. It is all about positioning the paper correctly and adopting an underwriting style. Our range of Lamy and J. Herbin inks are fast drying as well, which helps!
Left-handed people also have a different writing mechanics to right-handed people. They push the pen across the page instead of pulling it. With older fountain pens this used to be a concern as it could fray the fibres of the nib. But modern pens have a more rigid tip which stops this problem and brands like Lamy create fountain pen nibs designed specifically for left-handers.
6. Fountain Pens And Calligraphy Pens Are The Same Thing
This is completely false. They are two completely different types of pens. A fountain pen is suitable for everyday use and your usual way of writing. A calligraphy pen is designed specifically for writing calligraphy script. Definitely not your everyday pen! Most of calligraphy pens are dip pens. They are so much fun to write with, but you won’t be carrying them around in your hand bag…
7. You Need To Press Hard To Get The Ink Flowing
You actually don’t need to press as hard with a fountain pen as you would with a ballpoint. The ink flows more freely from a fountain pen, meaning that you can write for longer periods without your hand getting tired.
8. Writing With A Fountain Pen Is Too Slow
Regardless of the type of pen you use, you are still the one doing the writing. That means you choose how your handwriting looks and how fast you write. There should be no difference in speed when writing with a fountain pen. The only thing I can think of is that people tend to slow their usual scribble when using a nicer pen to make the most of the opportunity!
9. You Need Skill To Write With Them
You do not need to go and get a specific qualification to be able to write with a fountain pen. You just need to alter your writing style slightly so that the pen is at an angle with the page to allow the ink to flow correctly. The Lamy Safari range of fountains pens are great for beginners as they have a distinctive recessed grip that guarantees the correct grip for a comfortable fountain pen writing.
10. Lending Your Pen Can Damage The Nib
Yes it is a fact that over time, the nib of your fountain pen can mould to your particular writing style. But fountain pens are designed to last decades. It would take many hours of solid writing to even alter the nib slightly. So lending your pen to a friend to jot down a note or write a shopping list will not alter the nib at all.
P.S. Watch out if you lend your friend your fountain pen as they may love it so much they want to keep it. Tell them to buy their own!
Even though the technicalities of writing with your fountain pen should be no different to a ballpoint pen, the experience is completely different. Writing with a fountain pen is enjoyable, so you will often take the time to make your handwriting look as beautiful as the pen. You can be more in the moment of what you are creating on the page in front of you. Plus, you can express yourself in whatever way you want as there are far more colour options in ink than disposable pens. I love my fountain pens and I am sure you will love yours just as much!
We stock a gorgeous range of fountain pens here at Notes To Self, you can check them out here. Writing in the same colour can get boring. So if you like to change it up, you can also purchase a converter for your pen and as many different ink colours as you like. Just make sure to clean the pen when changing inks, so the colour is true and not mixed.