State of the Union: 2020

Family photo of fountain pens! 29 in total.

My feelings towards stationery has been... weird, lately.
I’m feeling kind of overwhelmed. Since I seriously joined the hobby a year or two ago I’ve been buying and collecting and hoarding nonstop. The point of stationery, in my opinion, is using it.

 I ended up in 2019 purchasing a grail pen - a Sailor pro gear with a Naginata Togi nib in B. I love it, but it’s also not something I usually picked for writing or drawing (except for the last couple of weeks, I’ve been using it extensively).

I also picked up the Sailor White Russian and a Desiderata g nib pen afterward. I feel like my collection of pens I use on the regular is pretty complete; anything beyond what I have really would be collecting and not using.

That fact seems daunting in an odd way, because If I had to cut my collection in half I’d still be okay. I like owning pens with different nibs to experience different mark making abilities. I’ve been using fountain pens (if you could the Pilot Varsity) since 2014. My tastes have changed SO much since then.

As for my pencil collection, my first Blackwing was in 2014 also. This year, I am at 13/19 of the volumes released plus the TWA edition (which is stunning, one of my favorites to look at).  Since I tend to only collect two or three pencils of each edition, it's not much in volume (heh), but I don't actually go through pencils that quickly. In honesty I have probably reached my lifetime potential of pencils at the rate I am going, not even including every other brand I own (which I've also significantly increased this year).

In terms of paper... boy, I have a lot. My joke is if my house were to catch on fire it would go up immediately because of all the paper I have.

 I instrumented a system where I inventory my sketchbooks and I counted 42 sketchbooks. My notebook count is more than 35. I am counting all of my little Field Notes packs individually instead of a pack -- but I stopped after hitting the 35 mark because I got so overwhelmed. My real guess is it's probably closer to 50. Which means I probably have a combo of near 100 sketchbooks and notebooks partially used in my home. This amount, very notably, broke a shelf in my IKEA dresser where I was containing about half of my supplies.

 How did I end up with so many???

Stationery purchases for me end up being a little Treat Yo Self but damn, how did I treat myself so much only to end up with this mindset, where my treat ended up being a problem?

 I think a hobby should give you joy, but all I’ve been feeling is tired and anxious. I've been collecting ideas for this blog but that requires real time and money to accomplish and I can't really keep up with the Joneses; it's not a mindset that's good for me anymore. I'll be reviewing whatever I have in 2020 instead of going out to purchase things to review. I think there are a million bloggers out there who can do that better than I can, and I want *my* joy out of this, even if it means reviewing dead stock items (sorry)!

For the year 2020, I'm putting a limit on new purchases (like literally only allowing myself to make stationery purchases 3 months out of the year) so I can enjoy what I have. The only way I'll get another fountain pen this year is if I save up for it and pay for it with cash -- no credit cards this time.
My financial priorities are changing a bit, and I'm rolling forward with no harsh judgement. Stationery and art supplies will always give me joy, but it's time to actually buckle down and use my stash making art instead of hunting for the next thing to add to it.