Is There Life Outside of Pens: A Pen Blogger’s Dilemma

Part 1: On Finding a Niche

This blog doesn’t even have one candle on its birthday cake yet, so it’s probably a surprise to hear that I’ve been blogging for over a decade now. I’ve written about riding a dirtbike across a rain-slick ledge over a thousand-foot cliff and how to properly measure the gap on a spark plug. I’ve written relationship advice to teenagers on tumblr. I’ve written fiction during a fit of lunacy. And now I write about beautiful, inexpensive fountain pens.

I blog because I like to write, and what’s a blog but a never-ending wellspring of ideas to write about. But conventional wisdom says a blog is a wellspring of very specific ideas.


Well, I’ve certainly done that here. I write about a specific subset of fountain pens, with occasional forays into notebooks, inks, and other stationery. While being laser-focused on one subject means I never lack for readers, the best part of having readers is that some of you stop by and say hello, and…

Part 2: I Like The Way You Exercise Your Verbiage

My favorite part of blogging is reading (and responding to) your comments. In a decade of blogging, I’ve found more satisfaction in having a group of regular readers than having ten thousand visitors who’ll forget the name of this blog the moment they close the tab.

I love my regulars. You know who you are. And it’s been lovely getting to know you through your comments here, or conversations we’ve had on your blogs, or via emails we’ve exchanged.

If you’re a regular here, you’ve gifted me with your attention. So I think it’s important to be careful about what I post. The last thing I want to do is abuse your attention, even though I’m often tempted to post things I find interesting but are off the primary topic of this blog. And believe me, I’m going to be plenty tempted in the next few months, because I’ll be…

Part 3: An American In Bulgaria

Certain life events have come together to cause me to go back to Bulgaria for a third time, but I’ll be living and working there for ten weeks instead of two.

I adore Bulgaria. I’d tell you so many interesting things about it, but this is a fountain pen blog, not a “how I spent an evening dancing the horo and singing folk songs with a bunch of soccer players” blog.

So I’ve given it some thought, and I guess this whole post has been a long-winded way of saying…

Part 4: There’s No Place Like Instagram (#home)

I’ve been flirting with Instagram for a couple of months, posting snapshots of stationery goodies along with some behind the scenes stuff from this blog. I’m a better writer than photographer, but I think I can make Instagram work as a mostly-pen-stuff-but-sometimes-not kind of place.

It’ll be my kind of place, and if that sounds interesting, you can find me @alloutonthepage. Наздраве!

7 thoughts on “Is There Life Outside of Pens: A Pen Blogger’s Dilemma

  1. Steve Moore December 20, 2017 / 9:09 am

    Bulgaria? Are stationery stores different in Bulgaria? Can you post pictures? Are there items available in Bulgaria that we can’t get in the US? Hint.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. independentclause December 20, 2017 / 10:08 am

    Damnit! I’m not on instagram. I hope you manage to write a bit about Bulgaria. I am here for the writing and the community. The community might be interested in your non-pen adventures.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Paul Godden December 20, 2017 / 6:28 pm

    I’d be willing to bet, that a fair number of people who follow blogs like this, keep their own journals (I like safe bets). People record their thoughts, memories, observations and — you nailed it — ephemera. I like to read, because I have to write (for work and pleasure), and reading other peoples’ work is a never-ending mine of material… some of it is gold, some is the coal for fueling ideas.

    I’m looking forward to Bulgaria. I hear there may be gold there.


  4. annemony December 20, 2017 / 8:13 pm

    All the best out of the country! Loooking forward to economical pens of Bulgaria (Y)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Laura December 21, 2017 / 7:36 pm

    I like posts about more than just pen stuff, so I’d love to hear about Bulgaria. 🙂🤷🏻‍♀️

    Liked by 1 person

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