I’ve never written with a Mont Blanc pen. Have you?
Depending on the model, they go for between $150 and $350, which is a bit out of my price range.
But I do like nice pens. I like pens that write without skipping, or scratching the paper. And I like pens that don’t go dry five seconds after you start writing with them, when you KNOW they’re full of ink (or gel).
Recently, I went a little crazy after filling out nine hundred ridiculous, redundant, idiotic pages of Australian visa applications, “character assessments,” and other assorted nonsense.
Yes, the documents annoyed me (especially when I had to fill out the exact same stuff on two different forms). But the pens I was using really pushed me over the edge. They just couldn’t last.
I needed to write my full address over and over in a tiny box, and the pens would give up half-way through a single line. I’d grab another one, which would skip, or leave blobs of ink, or otherwise disappoint me.
So I bought about 40 pens, of several varieties. All highly recommended on sites like “penaddict.com” and others, and each one about a buck. Maybe a little more for some.
Then, I found a thing online telling me how to fit a Mont Blanc refill cartridge into one of my new pens. Mont Blanc refills are about $6 each, so I’d have a 7 dollar pen that should write as smoothly as one that costs 40 or 50 times that.
Oh, I know, the Mont Blancs probably FEEL fantastic, and I’m still writing with a little plastic stick. But the ink shouldn’t skip, right?
I was skeptical.
I mean, really, these cheap pens were doing very well. Was I really going to be able to tell the difference? But I gave it a go.
After fitting the cartridge in, I wrote with my new, hacked, pen. It was ok. Seemed about the same.
But then something occurred to me. I was still writing as if I was using a cheap pen. That is, I was still pushing down on the paper, as well as pushing the pen across the page. It’s that pressure that made my hand cramp after telling the Aussie government every single job I’d had since college.
So I tried easing up a bit. Less pressure and the pen still wrote. Less again, and the ink poured forth without a hitch.
Finally, just to see, I tried it with no downward pressure at all, other than the weight of the pen itself. No skipping, no blank spot, no scratching. Smooth as vanilla yogurt.
I rested the pen in the palm of my hand and tilted the ball to the paper. Without gripping the pen at all, I pushed my palm horizontally and watched as the pen drew a beautiful line across the page.
Other than felt tip pens, none of the others in my house can come close. Most don’t even make a mark on the paper.
So I’m sold. I just have to train myself to stop working so hard when I write. Just ease up. Relax.
And now, if you feel like bothering, join me!