Happy New Year! It’s been great having some time off from my day job for the holidays to spend time with my family. I hope everyone had an enjoyable holiday break and had the chance to get in some quality family and relaxation time. If you received some new analog writing tools, even better!
It’s been awhile since my last post, and in this early stage of my blogging journey, I’m learning I need to work on being more productive. With a full-time job, a wife and three little kids, I need to use any small bit of time I get for the blog as effectively as possible. I’ll get there in time. I read many blogs, and I salute those bloggers that can regularly post two or more times a week. You inspire and motivate me.
Lately, I’ve been thinking about the new year, and all the things I’m looking forward to related to my life and interests. Much of it has relevance to Write Analog, so I thought it might be something worth sharing. The stuff below is certainly not all encompassing, and not in any order of importance… They are what is on the forefront of my mind at the start of this new year.
Blogging & Developing Write Analog
I’ve really enjoyed the time I’ve spent working on the blog, but I’m still in the sort-of-steep learning curve phase as a blogger. I can’t speak for all bloggers, but it’s much more time consuming than I ever expected. As with learning and doing anything new though, it takes time and practice to get better and more efficient. Even at this early stage of Write Analog, I’ve learned so much and, I’m already faster than when I started. I look forward to writing and adding more content to the site. I have lots of ideas for the blog, but for now, my focus is on writing the best stuff I can.
My other goal is to get better at photography. That’s another area where I’m learning on the fly. I’m loving the challenge of it, and I look forward to the day I don’t have to take 80 shots to get the few I need for a post.
In 2015, I will work on becoming a better blogger (although that’s really the only direction I can go). I can’t wait to see what Write Analog looks like a year from now.
I don’t have the time to listen to as many podcasts as I’d like. However, the few I listen to, I never miss. I listen to some writing podcasts, but as soon as The Pen Addict and Erasable podcasts show up in my Overcast playlist, they become priority one.
We all know and love The Pen Addict podcast. Myke Hurley and Brad Dowdy knock it out of the park every week, and I can’t wait to see what they have in store for 2015.
The Erasable podcast (by Andy Welfle, Johnny Gamber and Tim Wasem) took me by complete surprise. I eagerly await their future podcasts. I owe (blame) them for making me obsessed with woodcased pencils. They don’t know it, but they actually delayed the launch of Write Analog due to derailing my interest in pens for quite some time. Honestly, I didn’t pick up a fountain pen for months. Then I got a TWSBI 580AL, and balance was achieved once again. Now, I use and embrace both my graphite and inky tools.
Fields Notes Releases
“Hello, my name is Mark, and I’m addicted to Field Notes.”
I admit, I’ve got the Field Notes fever. I’ve yet to pay crazy prices for the sold out Field Notes Colors limited editions, but I’m oh so close. I look forward to each seasonal Colors edition release like no other product on the market.
I’m ready to get on a plane to Seattle to get a pack of the Starbucks Reserve Roastery Edition. Wow, do those look good. Thanks to Andy Welfle for his unboxing video. . . For those of us that can’t get a pack, it’s the next best thing.
Kickstarter Projects Worth Backing
I’ve backed several successful Kickstarter projects, and I continue to be impressed with the quality and innovation that comes out in the “writing tools” category. I look forward to what pen and paper projects may be coming out and hope to see even more pencil-related stuff. For me, seeing the success of two bullet pencil projects (Twist Bullet Pencil and Bullet Pencil ST) was a Kickstarter highlight of 2014.
The big question is: What’s next for Karas Kustoms? I know I can’t wait to find out.
I always look forward to what new products may be coming out from my favorite companies, but besides the ones I already mentioned (Field Notes and Karas Kustoms), I can’t wait to see what new stuff NockCo and TWSBI put on the market in 2015.
Brad Dowdy has dropped some hints on The Pen Addict podcast that NockCo may be coming out with a folio case in 2015. I will be ready and waiting with my credit card when that happens. In my opinion, all of their products so far have been winners, and I anticipate any future product they release.
TWSBI is another company that should have something (or things) coming out in 2015. The pictures they’ve released of the wooden piston filler prototypes look superb. TWSBI is known for teasing products that may never see the mass market, but the PP019 Wood fountain pen (let’s hope for a better name) seems like it will be released relatively soon.
Relearning cursive is my resolution for 2015. I won’t go into it here since it is the subject of my next blog post. Stay tuned!
Organizing My Collection
I’m a collector at heart, so it was inevitable my passion for analog writing tools would evolve (rather quickly) into a “collection”. And it’s a bit out of hand at the moment (as my wife will attest). I know I can get it organized… I have about 10,000 comic books in my basement that are in relatively good order. I just need to figure out the best way to do it, make a plan and get it done. I’m going to make it a priority in 2015, and for the sake of actually being able to find a particular item with any quickness, I hope it happens.
Getting Back Into Drawing
I have Mr. Ian Hedley of Pens! Paper! Pencils! to thank for this. He frequently posts some stellar drawings that are truly inspirational. When I was a kid, I dreamed of being a cartoonist, and I drew and doodled all the time. I never took the time to develop my skills, and despite not being very good, I remember loving it. I’m going to make an effort in 2015 to draw again, and no matter what the outcome, I know I’ll have a good time practicing and using the tools I love.
Drawing is also a fantastic activity to do with my kids, which makes it even more awesome.
Reading More Fiction
I’m going to read more fiction in 2015. I guess I’m considering this an official “resolution” too. It just has to happen. If I have any aspirations whatsoever to write fiction, I have to consume more of it. For me, reading fiction is a great teacher and motivator. It also has been one of the things I too easily brush aside when things get busy.
I will designate some time, however small it may be, each day for reading fiction. I even got myself a Kindle Paperwhite for Christmas to make a quality reading experience more accessible. It really is a fantastic device, and I have no problem recommending it to you (and using my affiliate link). I love paper books, and reading on my iPhone isn’t terrible, but the Paperwhite is the best of both worlds.
In 2015, I look forward to setting a personal record of fiction books completed.
Writing More Fiction
I’m going to write more fiction in 2015. Any progress is better than no progress, so I’m going to focus on moving forward, even if it’s at a glacial pace.
Blogging is very different from writing fiction, but I’m proving to myself that I can have the discipline to sit down and write. The wonderful thing about blogging is any improvements in the efficiency of my writing process will carry over to my fiction writing.
Why don’t I just spend the time I use for blogging to write fiction? Good question. The simple answer is I really like producing content for Write Analog, and I don’t see it as an either/or situation. I enjoy both and want to do both.
More Awesome Content From The Blogs I Love Reading
I read a ton of blogs. My RSS reader app (Newsify) has to be the most used app on my iPhone. My interests cover the gamut, but most blogs I read fall into the pens/pencils/paper/stationary category. There is so much excellent content in our niche. Here are the blogs I look forward to reading more of in 2015:
- The Pen Addict
- Pencil Revolution
- The Writing Arsenal
- The Well-Appointed Desk
- Pens! Paper! Pencils!
- The Gentleman Stationer
- Ed Jelley
- Office Supply Geek
- The Newsprint
- Nerd Uprising
- The Clicky Post
- From The Pen Cup
- Modern Stationer
- Leigh Reyes
- An Inkophile’s Blog
- No Pen Intended
- All Things Stationary
- Alt. Haven
- FP Geeks
- Fountain Pen Quest
- Gourmet Pens
- Fountain Pen Physicist
- My Pen Needs Ink
- My Supply Room
- Notebook Stories
- Pen & Design
- Pen Paper Ink Letter
- Pens & Planes
- Pete Denison
- Scribomechanica (I’m hopeful!)
- That One Pen
- The Cramped
- The Finer Point
- The Pen Habit
- The Unroyal Warrant
- The Pencil Case Blog
Thanks for all you do, and making the stationary blogosphere incredible. I’ll be reading and enjoying your posts in 2015.
As long as that list is, I don’t mean to overlook anyone in our community. It just means you’re not on my radar yet.
The Day Job
I work as a Certified Medical Dosimetrist in the radiation oncology field. In a nutshell, I perform treatment planning for patients undergoing radiation therapy. There are always innovations in technology and cancer research that make what I do more efficient and effective. 2015 is sure to be no different, and I can’t wait to see their positive impact on cancer patients and my profession.
Of course, and last but not least, my family is going to make 2015 awesome! With three little kids, there is never (and I mean never) a dull moment at the Tucker house. I know there will be lots of exciting things ahead for us in 2015.
I have so much to look forward to this year. . . I know it’s going to be outstanding. I wish everyone a very happy and prosperous 2015.