Finding solace where we can during these dark days of invasion by an invisible virus, and in ways that makes us both happy and safe, is everyone’s goal. Us stationery nerds have lots of opportunities for some wholesome distraction through our beloved hobby (lifestyle for some of us)!
Shopping and supporting online stationery retailers, especially us small ones, is an excellent way to support and contribute to ensuring they’re still there after the madness is over. That’s not to say the big ones don’t need our love and hugs, too.
Here’s a list of stationery-related things I’m doing and connecting to that collectively are helping me keep grounded and pass the time. All we can do is wait this one out, yet try to live each day as well as you can, taking care of yourself and your loved ones.
- Organize the stash. This can go from finally doing that inventory you’ve always wanted to sorting things and separating between what you should keep and perhaps what you could trade or gift to others to spread the joy (especially those not yet converted to stationery nerd status).
- Online tribes. Therapy is not just about finding, ordering, receiving that wonderful happy mail full of stationery goodies we all love. It’s also about community. I suspect most who will read this are already in either (or both) the Erasables Podcast Facebook Group or the Field Nuts Facebook Group, or even other, stationery-related groups. These are great time-sinks to distract from what’s going on around us. And don’t forget that as quick as current information rolls off in these groups, they are a very deep mine of good information worth digging down months or years ago and expanding your understanding of all things stationery.
- Stationery-related conversations. This for me has been the above mentioned Facebook Groups and messaging with people in the tribes.
Ordering online. Took the plunge to order some things that’ve been on my list for sometime, plus goodwill orders to support other shops: Musgrave’s cool cedarwood box with Tennessee Reds, two limited color pencil sets from CWPencils, Rickshaw Bags deferred order (for when they open again) for an A5 Inktopus pouch and an imprinted pen sleeve with “Keep Calm and Write On,” a couple Elemental Papers Iodine A5 notebooks with Tomoe River paper, Baronfig dot grid post-it notes (my favorites) during their recent sale, and a deep stash from Death Wish Coffee. Wait…that’s not stationery…(but oh so essential!!).
- Podcast sessions. I’m finally catching up on one of my favorites, 1857. Love those guy’s voices and sayings. Their podcast is what I tend to listen to while doing creative project work or when adding merch to the shop or packing orders. I swear they could read off their shopping list and I’d be happy to listen. Have also started listening to RSVP, and of course, catching up on missed episodes of Erasables, too.
- Fountain pen cleaning and cycling ink. Daily carry is not quite the right term since I’m not carrying anything out to coffee shops and libraries these days, my B.C. (before coronavirus) preferred locale for 2-3 hours most days to work and write. But there’s time now to explore more inks and rotate pens more frequently so I can enjoy all in my collection.
- Journaling. This is an ongoing routine that’s become a little more helpful these days to capture thoughts and work through fears and concerns. And of course, it involves using great paper and fantastic writing tools. My current journal is a Nanami Seven Seas Writer and using favorite fountain pens or Blackwings to flow thoughts onto those smooth, ruled pages.
- Reading. Grabbed a copy of Caroline Weaver’s Pencils You Should Know book on a recent trip, and a fat, spiral-bound vintage mechanical pencils book at last years’ Detroit Pen Show. Slowly enjoying these two plus an increase in reading across a lot of other topics.
- Sketching. Related to stationery through using journals, pencils, pens, markers, etc., is a great way to spend time in- or outdoors and a good activity to do with kids indoors.
Your list may vary from mine. But regardless, the ability to focus on a pursuit of pleasure such as these tools and paper we enjoy, provide hours of joy and distraction from what’s going on outside our sheltering-in homes.