The Six stages of Fountain Pen Addiction

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Fountain Pen Addiction? Here, take some Ink!

I am an addict and my dope is fountain pens. I talk to Montblancs. I caress Benus. I whisper complements to Soenneckens. I raise toasts to Swans. My days are obsessively, compulsively, disorderly strung around fountain pens and at night, I either have happy dreams about them or have nightmares that break me up in cold sweats. My daily fix? You guessed it, fountain pens, of all shapes, sizes, origins and makes – colour, creed, sex, religion, no bar.

I ink, therefore I pen. I mean, I am best suited to talk addiction here, because of my history of substance abuse disorder. And to make things easy for all of you with a pen in the wrong place, let me be as clinically specific as possible.

  1. There is always a beginning, like Eve offering Adam the apple – a fountain pen in our case, one that we got as a gift or was bought as something for school work, as a child. We start, the addiction that is, either out of curiosity, or because our friends were doing it – peer pressure and other such mundane stuff, you know. Or because of the lack of development in the prefrontal cortex, which manages decision-making and controlling impulses. Its all in the head buddy, like that dreaded three letter word!
  1. We move quickly into the next stage, when enamoured by the romance of seeing ink dry on paper, we throw away those God forsaken ball-point pens and start associating writing with Fountain pens. It is also the stage when we start using more than one pen to address our chores. Slowly we begin to hate the prospect of keying in stuff, preferring to write instead.
  2. Regular use. This is when we realise the need to match the colour of our pen’s barrel and the ink with our outfit. Yes, this is also the time when we start having pretensions of calling ourselves  “serious collectors” and cringe when people term us as a lowly hobbyist.
  3. Problem / Risky Use. Ah, this is the deal breaking stage. This is when we  “normally” spend entire meetings oblivious to the hum in the background as we focus, completely, on the doodles we make, the pleasure of just having the pen in hand becoming all encompassing. Oh yes, our work suffers. Relationships begin to dry up and life skips beats. Nothing, we feel, that can’t be fixed by a little tweaking of the nibs.
  4. Phew. If we have made it this far it means that we need more and more fountain pens to get the same level of “high”. Going without a fountain pen elicits a withdrawal symptom. And the craving – the mental, psychological dependence on Fountain pens become unbearable. We just can’t live without having one in the hand. Or buying one. Or reading about one. Or inking one.
  5. Substance Use Disorder. We know  (do we, really?) we are a gone case when, we ‘cannot face life’ without having the reassurance of having the fountain pen in hand / pocket / purse / bullet-journal. We cannot control our urge and however much we try, we get sucked into a dark inky void, as if being pushed into a barrel by a giant eyedropper.

We continue to use fountain pens despite the harm that comes due to our refusal to use electronic word processing with all its attending benefits. Ha, ha, beat that!

We lie about our obsessive buying of Pens (that includes inks and notebooks and cases and accessories), especially about how many we are buying, how often, even to our own selves. And yes, we are in a perpetual state of self-denial, when it comes of accepting the fact that our hobby is now a full-blown “disease”.

We avoid friends and family. Who wants to go out for a drink and listen to all those inane things, when one can spend a chilled-out evening with the Pelikans? Or reading up on the effect of fountain pen making during World War II? Or to simply admire those doodles we scribbled at 4 in the morning last week?

We have given up activities we used to enjoy. Oh yes, like watching cricket and stalking Pamela Anderson or counting the bloopers of the politician we love to hate.

We cannot recognize the problems with our behaviour or with our inter-personal relationships.

Hell, this is becoming too much, even by my standards. How can something as beautiful as a fountain pen be even considered as a cause for destroying interpersonal relationships? A whole lot of bunkum, that!

“Here, let me write it down for you, in cursive. You will love the sheen of the Iroshizuku Red Momji – it has a way doing the ballet on the Nanami Seven Seas Tamoe River paper Notebook, when written on, especially by a Namiki Emperor Goldfish! Oh sorry, Japan is the flavour of this month, we can talk Onoto nearer to Christmas”?


6 Replies to “The Six stages of Fountain Pen Addiction”

  1. fascinating, i read this one for few times. Such a lovely feeling it brought into my thoughts. Thank you for such a lovely piece.

  2. I’m addicted to fountain pens. This article describes me perfectly. I’m also addicted to ice cream, chocolate, and reading, not necessarily in that order. I love ink too. Must match pens and ink. Now I’m looking into collecting Platinum 3776 pens. I must be sick.

    1. welcome on board Sarah. You are not alone. And perish the thought about being sick. On the contrary, as collectors of fountain pens, we are so delightfully high on life!
      As for the Platinum 3776, what can i say? with its translucent resin body, gold trim and a nib that caresses the soul as it scratches on the paper, it is a delight to behold. Cant blame you if you fall in love 🙂

      and thank you for writing in. hope to see more comments from you.

  3. Is there a “Fountain Pen Anonymous” that I can join ?

    I have in the last 3 months been obsessed with fountain pens especially the one which are work-horses and (so-far) inexpensive. I had a Lamy Safari , Al-star, 2 Cross Century, TWSBI Eco , the low cost Pilot Metropolitan , the ultra low cost and utilitarian Camlin Elegante,. I recently was gifted by my wife the Lamy 2000 . I just ordered the Kaweco Sport Ice which I intend to convert to an eyedropper. I am eyeing greedily the Platinum 3776 and the Pilot Custom 823 Vac filler . Today I discovered the CONID pen which will be a real expensive possession, if I do get the permission to buy. So you see, I am an addict and watch fountain pen videos on youtube for hours . I need help.

    1. welcome to the club. We don’t have a FPA but we do have the opposite the FPAI and many other clubs where lovers of fountain pens meet 🙂


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