Welcome back to Fountain Pen 201, and happy Fountain Pen Friday! This week, I’ll be discussing the fabulous fountain pen community.
I’m pretty sure I’ve said it before, but one of the best parts of the fountain pen hobby is the community. All of the pen users, makers, and retailers I’ve personally met have been lovely people, and I’ve formed good friendships with several of them.
The pen community has many iterations, including stores, shows, pen forums, and meet-ups. You’ll meet pen users and retailers by going to your local store(s). Some stores may even have events featuring indie makers. Shows are a great place to meet anyone associated with the pen community, as well as get your hands on pens to see how they feel.
Pen forums on the various social media platforms provide excellent opportunities to meet pen pals. (← See what I did there? ☺) Online forums have the huge advantages of being accessible to virtually everyone and not requiring you to leave your house.
If you deal with social anxieties of any kind, online forums are probably perfect for you. You can be a virtual social butterfly and make all sorts of friends, or you can simply observe and enjoy others’ delight.
The pen world has infiltrated Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Reddit, Tumblr, and Twitter. Click those links to see what a search for #fountainpen returns. and that’s a single hashtag. A Google search for fountain pen form returns over 6 million results. Top among those are The Fountain Pen Network, Fountain Pen Geeks, and The Fountain Pen Board.
The online fountain pen community is growing daily and is generally very kind and accepting.
Meet-ups are great, too. Depending on the group you meet with, meet-ups can be mini pen shows (without the immediate danger to your wallet).
The monthly DC Metro Pen Crew meet-ups are a highlight of my social calendar. Thanks to generous friends in the pen crew, Jim and I have been able to test pens that we otherwise probably wouldn’t have even seen in person. And we’ve gotten samples of hard-to-find ink and ink we’re just curious about.
Meet-ups are a great place to show off new pen and ink purchases. As fellow pen users, other people at the meet-up will share your excitement over your purchase. You can compare collections, exchange pen stories, find out about new pens and notebooks, and just enjoy hanging out with people who share your passion.
Pen Pals *wink wink*
Ultimately, in my opinion, the best part of the pen community is getting to share your hobby with people who understand it.
For the most part, my coworkers don’t know anything about pens, so whether I use a Preppy or a Homo Sapiens, it means nothing. But my pen friends understand and can share my joy in my pens and ink.
I will admit that there is one downside to joining the pen community, though. You may find yourself lusting over pens or ink you previously had no idea even existed. So you may want to work on your self control.
Do you consider yourself part of the pen community? Where are you most active? Let me know in the comments. Come back next week to learn more about purchasing vintage and secondhand pens.