Pen Collectors of the world unite – you have nothing to lose but your apathy and a whole new ink to win!
The world is full of married men? Nah, if the world is full of anything, it is a strange species called the failed pen collector. Failed, as in beyond all hopes of redemption, one who has given up on his (or her) passion. Really? But why do some fail, while others spend lifetimes tweaking the tines? The answers are not far to seek, and I have listed the major causes that I feel can be ascribed to such failures:
- Stop believing in themselves, stop celebrating their passion for pens. Some pen collectors, lets face it, just get bored. They grow out of their hobbies, giving up in a whim what could have been a fancy forever. Oh God, forgive them, they know not what they do.
- They get stuck in the past – their past and to the antiques of yore. Some Pen Collectors get too obsessed in chasing the antiques, the period pieces. The focus so hard on the trees that they lose sight of the wood. Instead of enjoying the journey, they are typically so gripped with reaching the destination that failure is inevitable.
- Expect fast results – Rome wasn’t built in a day, neither will your pen collection be done in days. Some hurry through the process, forgetting that your collection, like wine, is best enjoyed aged. Collecting fountain pens is not about instant gratification, my friends – it is about many summers and winters and autumns in between.
- Dwell on mistakes – so they slipped in one with a cracked barrel? Okay, we all make mistakes. They (mistakes) are part of the learning process and as integral to the collection as anything else. So, you picked up a fake Montblanc? Big Deal. I have many that I got duped into buying. They write just as beautifully as any other. Will I give up on my hobby? Hell no.
- Fear the future? Do it for the love, in the present. There are pen collectors who think that the money and time spent on building a collection will not generate the right returns in the long run, that the accretion in value will not justify the investment. Well, you should be buying stocks you know, this is a collection of fountain pens we are talking about, not a coop of chicken. God bless you.
- Resist change – the friendly neighbourhood stationery seller is now in the net. Hey, just because we collect fountain pens does not mean that we cannot be digitally savvy? Who says that we are a bunch of digitally dead morons? On the contrary, the net has opened the farthest corners of the world to us – aficionados, and we are not only engaging, collecting and comparing notes, but are actually rocking!
- Focus on the weaknesses. Too often we fail as pen collectors because we are overwhelmed by our weaknesses. Little or no money to collect? No problem. Not enough time? No problem. Look at the brighter side and use whatever little that you have – money, time, whatever – and put it to the best use. After all, it is for a good cause – your intrinsic joy!
- The world owes no none nothing. Its your passion. It is your collection. Be prepared to sweat it out to build and maintain it. No fairy Godmother is going to come with a magic wand to turn rats into Ratnamsons and pumpkins into Pilots. Well, old uncles and aunts, bequeathing their collections is a different thing though.
- Fear Failure more than have they desire success. But why should one be bothered about success or failure in the first place? It is a hobby damn it – labour of love. It is not about winning and schadenfreude. Just relax and enjoy the act of inking or watching the ink dry on paper?
- Visualise the possible, as opposed to being bogged down by the chimera of the impossible? I don’t have a series of Viscontis or the cousin of the Onoto pen that Florence Nightingale wrote with – that doesn’t make me any less passionate about collecting, does it?
- Something to lose. Why even bother? Nothing is permanent. You are not, your pens will not be either. And if the resin crumbles due to age, look at the wrinkles on your face – if you think they are wrinkles, go bang your head in desperation. But if you think they are laugh lines, you are a collector, my friend. May your tribe increase.
- And yes, always remember that you took up the hobby to turn your back to the rats racing to their doom – not to pick up fountain pens so that you could join them, pen in hand. Take it easy and like I said, enjoy the journey, it never was and never will be about the destination. It is more an addiction, pure and simple.
- Pen Collectors assume their problems are unique. We all have problems and they are similar in nature. Speak up. Seek help. Discuss. You not a toxin that you have been put in the quarantine, to see your collection grow in isolation. Open the Windows (and to hell with all of you who said, but I use a Mac) and let the sunshine of friendly collectors from the tribe sip in. Trust me, you won’t regret it.
- Pen Collectors Quit too soon. Still not convinced? Sleep over it. If you dream of a fountain pen, that is God asking you to carry on. Clearly, He has marked you as a chosen one, for He saves his toughest battles (and his cherished pens) for his best collectors.
NOTE: All the fountain pens featured here were gifted to me by my dear friend Sunando Mukerjee to parted with his childhood companions to mark my Birthday! Thank You Sunando.