I don't think I ever actually completed a New Year's Resolution until last year. For a while I stopped making them altogether, using the cop-out excuses that they were yet one more thing I was doing simply because everybody else was doing them; that I was generally content with my current priorities, and that, in fact, I didn't need to change anything.
Last year, I took a different approach. Inspired by Chris Guillebeau's personal year-end review process, I spent some time focusing on two or three things that I really would like to be doing, instead of just muddling along in jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none mode. One of the projects I recommitted to was this blog. Those (very) few and (very) loyal readers who have followed me from the beginning will recall that I started this blog as "Vintage Writing" two years ago, launched it for two or three posts, and let it peter out when my schedule became overwhelmed with other projects and commitments.
I rechristened the blog "The Gentleman Stationer" and committed to posting regularly, and while I've still been struggling with what's the right balance for me in terms of posting frequency, I managed to post something at least once a week.
Even though I've maintained an online presence, with a small but loyal readership that I enjoy talking with every week, I sometimes feel that I've not done enough to differentiate this blog from all the other great pen/pencil/stationery blogs out there. Towards the end of this year, I began experimenting with new kinds of content, such as this post on mechanical keyboards which got a lot of interest, and also this post that I guest wrote for On Fountain Pens discussing my experiences living abroad. For this year's resolution, I'm committing to featuring similar content and experimenting a bit.
But fear not! At its core, this blog is, and will remain, a pen and pencil blog, with the product reviews and commentary that I love to write. I have three stationery resolutions as well. They are, in order of importance:
- Use more notebooks. I'm drowning. I have a huge backlog of both Field Notes and standard-sized notebooks. I'm not going to say that I have more notebooks than I can ever use, because that's not true, but I do need to recommit to journaling, writing fiction, and using up some of that paper.
- Use more ink. I need to write down my ink supply. I've dabbled more with pencils this year--a trend that I think will continue--but I want to get back to using my fountain pens on a daily basis, especially for journalling and more introspective, long-hand writing.
- Whittle down my pen collection. This one generates very mixed feelings on my part. Readers may have notices that I've sold a lot of pens on the blog this year. That will continue. I have way too many pens, most of which I don't use at all. I have about a dozen that I absolutely love, and I want those to become the core of my collection. There are some vintage pens that are true collectors pieces which don't get used that often, and I plan on retaining those regardless of use, but it's time to let some other modern pieces go to new homes. I don't mind having a lot of money tied up in this hobby, because it's meaningful to me, but if I'm not getting anything out of certain pieces I can put those funds to better use.
I get the feeling that 2015 is going to be a great year for the analog writing community (not the "pen" community, as that's underinclusive). I'll warn you in advance that you may see some formatting changes on the blog as I experiment with some different things. If you see something that just doesn't work, please let me know! I'm learning as I go, and I'm open to suggestions. As always, thank you for reading!