It’s not uncommon to hear people say their handwriting has gone to pot because of computers, who needs to use a pen anymore? Write a letter? Email is faster and I don’t have to look all over for a stamp. But according to a Wall Street Journal article, your choice of pen can also hurt your script (via Letter Writers Alliance).

This is the first time I have heard pens blamed, but the argument makes a good point. Rollerballs are apparently the worst choice of pen if you are trying to write neatly. The ink flows too fast. I can agree to this. I don’t like rollerballs, my handwriting gets pretty scrawly with them. However, if you are taking notes and need to write fast, well, they are ideal. The trouble comes when you try to read those notes later. There are few things more embarrassing than being unable to read your own writing.

Ballpoints are bad for your writing too, says the article. They require too much pressure to get the ink to flow. That’s the truth! My hand gets tired fast when using a ballpoint. I always thought it was me, but now I can blame the pen!

Why I loved this article was because the conclusion is that the best kind of pen to write with is a fountain pen. Thank you Wall Street Journal for validating my fountain pen obsession! Now I don’t feel bad about owning eight fountain pens and always lusting after more. Now, could you do something to ease my guilt about how many bottles of fountain pen ink I seem to require?

The article makes some fountain pen suggestions for those who have never used one before. They are good suggestions. Lamy makes an excellent pen, though instead of starting with a Studio or an Al-Star, Safari is a good choice. They are lightweight, come in a variety of nib sizes and lots of fun colors. They have a sporty look and are durable. They are also inexpensive for a good pen.

If you want a pen that has a flexible nib for more line variation and don’t want to spend a wad of cash, I can heartily recommend the American made Noodler’s Ahab. Yes that Ahab. The pen clip is even designed to look kind of like a whale. These are really lightweight pens that won’t tire your hand. You can write for hours! And if you are really geeky, you can take the entire pen apart and clean every single of piece of it. The first time I did that I was terrified I wouldn’t be able to put it all back together again, but really, there aren’t that many parts to a pen. I don’t know why I find it so much fun to take my pen apart and reassemble it, but it is.

However, does a fountain pen make my handwriting nicer? I don’t know. I can still manage a good illegible scrawl with one. I can say though, that it does enhance the experience of writing. A beautiful pen, my choice of ink color, and some nice paper, what a pleasure!